Joint Managing Director of Earp Bros Ceramic Tiles speaks to Nicky Lobo about the company’s industry-leading Green Certification
December 11th, 2012
What was involved in achieving this accreditation?
It involves more than just working on the back of European producers certifications. We have had to reconsider our local operations and change the way we do business. Being the first ceramic tile company to apply to EcoSpecifier, to have our company and materials audited, we had to change and adapt as we went, as it was a learning curve not chartered by others before.
It is interesting how many carpet and vinyl companies that have certifications, yet Earp Bros innovative tiles are the only ones in Australia to have been down this road. We have had to learn about ourselves, our products, and culturally change. We have developed systems that have never been available to specifiers before.
For instance, there is not a project in the world that can specify slip resistant materials, understanding how it will perform over a life cycle.
We have also introduced the first product stewardship program in hard flooring, to our knowledge: in the world. It is a huge leap forward, and we are continuing to develop a business model that supports and improves these and other programs in the future.
What brought Earp Bros to the decision to seek Green Certification?
As a 130 year old company it just makes sense. My brother and I are 5th generation in this business. To be part of that you have to be forward thinking and have a want to make a difference. We are not wanting to get a manufacturer’s certificate from Europe and wave it around and tell everyone how wonderful we are.
The team at Earp Bros are innovative and dynamic, so this task was more interesting to us than compliance. It was about discovery and making our business future proof.
It is a competitive edge that enables us to deliver to clients what they are asking for. Our children do not have much choice in the decisions of companies today, so it is also a corporate responsibility we see.
What will this in turn mean for specifiers?
It will mean that they can choose with ease a large range of wall and floor tiles for many applications, knowing that the products have been audited and are managed by a reputable company.
Green buildings now have tiles as a green building material.
It will also mean that they can specify slip resistant flooring understanding the risks they take, before the materials are installed. This is so important, as it is one of the largest parts of specifiers insurance and the largest risk in occupying buildings. One thing building green but they then need to be used.
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