The home of architecture and design in Asia-Pacific

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

Taking back our climate

In the hopes of a regenerative future, voices of passion and activism are leading the way in restoring our landscape to give generations the brighter planet that they deserve. A leader in global sustainability, Interface® is changing the game by overcoming humanity’s biggest challenge of climate change.

Growing up, adults had such an unyielding trust in the possibilities of the future. They always looked to the unknown with buoyant eyes, insisting that future generations would see a brighter lifetime. These years are becoming a lost paradise. Slowly but surely, the world as we know it is changing, the fate of human society precariously intertwined with a climate increasingly ill-suited for supporting life.

As the effects of climate change make themselves known every day, we now need to focus on mitigation, not prevention. But despite this reality, there is a resounding hope. Undercurrents of activism and innovation are beginning to surge into the mainstream, capturing the imagination of the masses as we begin to conceptualise what a renewed, greener world could look like.

Amongst these voices are those of whole industries, bodies who are prepared to challenge the status quo and put the future of our earth front and centre. Growing louder and more passionate by the day, these companies and industries are leading the way through conversations, policies and measurable actions.

Of these, commercial carpet tile and resilient flooring company, Interface®, is a global sustainability leader. By believing in overcoming the biggest challenge facing humanity and in the power of businesses to reverse global warming, they have made it their mission to create sustainable solutions to restore the planet and leave a positive impact.

Since 1994, Interface® began transforming their factories by tackling waste and moving to renewable energy sources, making substantial progress to reduce their carbon footprint, fixing their eyes on their bold mission to eliminate all the harm they may do to the environment.

In November 2019, Interface® announced success on Mission Zero® and launched a report titled Lessons from the Future, which provides nine lessons designed to help others advance on their own journey to sustainability.

Their 25-year-journey has seen momentous achievements from establishing the ReEntry™ Recycling Program in 1995 (globally); becoming the first to pilot Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) in 2004; all the way through to celebrating the successes of Mission Zero® in 2019, one year ahead of target.

In 2016, continuing along the path of Mission Zero®, Interface® named themselves a new, more ambitious mission known as Climate Take Back®, inviting other companies to join them as they commit to running our business in a way that is restorative to the planet and creates a climate fit for life.

And just two years later, they announced their pledge to become carbon negative by 2040. A key step towards this has been their Carbon Neutral Floors™ program.

Every carpet tile, LVT or piece of rubber flooring purchased from them is now carbon neutral across their life cycle. They have achieved this after more than two decades of work to reduce their product carbon footprint combined with the purchase of a small amount of verified carbon offsets to make up the difference.

As pioneers and leaders within the design and manufacturing industry, their ambition sets themselves up as the purpose-driven business they are today. Therefore, by encouraging others to act and have a voice, humanity can be a force for good. Along the way, Interface® has gained invaluable knowledge on business models, solving material challenges and game changing strategies from professionals across the globe.

As a testament of their commitment to climate renewal through narratives and positive activism, Interface® recently held exclusive screenings across Australia of the documentary film, ‘2040.

Australian film director; Damon Gameau created the ‘2040’ film as an idealist exploration of a better, greener and more sustainable future for the next generation. Spurred by a hopeful future that his 4-year-old daughter would inherit, 2040 outlines the possibilities to reverse and reshape the health of the planet.

To achieve this, Damon sets out on a journey to speak with change makers around the globe in the areas of economic, technology, civil society, agriculture, education and sustainability. One such person is Paul Hawken, who authored the book “The Ecology of Commerce” and inspired Interface® founder Ray Anderson’s famous spear-in-the-chest moment and the business’s subsequent transformation. Hawken speaks in the movie of Project Drawdown, which he founded in 2014 and which aims to communicate the world’s most substantive solutions to stop global warming in as clear and effective a way as possible.

Inspired by their expertise and innovative spirits, Gameau made it a priority to identify the best and available solutions from our natural resources that would reverse the effects of climate change.

From regenerative agriculture, decentralised renewable energy products to marine permaculture – 2040 is a story of proactivity and an immense sense of hope. Captivating, inspiring and ultimately refreshing, Gameau strips the ordeal and complexity that climate change has been labelled with and transforms it into an encouraging vision of what could be.

An advocate of holistic and regenerative approaches to design, Interface® invited Caroline Pidcock, founder of PIDCOCK and a partner of Architects Declare, to speak at the screening of the 2040 film. Passionate about architecture, regenerative design and an abundant living future, Pidcock sees the power of industry leaders and associations to pave the way to a better future.

“Get involved – this is the future,” Pidcock states. “2040 identifies and showcases real solutions that are already available. It is a film coming from love and hope, from a father to his daughter and her generation. This resonates with so many people who are looking for a positive future.”

Both Caroline Pidcock and Interface® look to be part of the solution, to continue to innovate and inspire the wider community to collaborate. “[We architects] are so well placed to creatively realise the potential of complex and difficult systems to help create a regenerative living future,” Pidcock expresses.

“Instead of relying on governing bodies or associations to take the lead it, it urges us to take responsibility for action in our lives and practices,” Pidcock adds. “The future will be found helping create the regenerative lives we need, and that skilling up on how to help create this is critical to both the success of the future in general as well as their own.”

Interface® understands and works with nature’s system. By making it a priority to lead the reversal of the past few decades, together, the industry can create products that support climate regeneration. With a goal of becoming the world’s first environmentally sustainable and restorative company, Interface is living proof that any change is difficult – but nothing is too small or too big to make a difference. This is their story of incredible passion, hope and humanity taking back the brighter future our generation deserves.

Download the Interface®: 25th Anniversary Sustainability Report here and learn more about the company’s journey of Mission Zero and Climate Take Back. 

Photography courtesy of Interface®.


INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers