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An info-packed guide to green best practice

Richard Catt introduces the CFA Guide to Sustainability 2024/2025 which aims to help the flooring industry deliver best practice.

JUNE sees the publication of the CFA’s 2024/2025 digital Guide to Sustainability, our annual update that highlights key information, products, and services, with a few case studies for good measure. It aims to help anyone with a current flooring project (with sustainability at its heart) to deliver best practice.

At the same time, it provides some thought leadership pieces around the future of sustainability in the commercial flooring sector. If you would like to download a copy, scan the QR code in the advert on the opposite page.

Don’t forget the Guide is being heavily promoted to architects and designers, and so all of the content will have a wide reach and audience. Thank you to everyone who contributed as it’s obvious the CFA Sustainability Guide is becoming more and more important as a reference document for our sector. Like our training guide, the CFA Guide to Sustainability brings many of the important concepts together in one volume.

It’s difficult to put an exact figure on it, but I am increasingly aware of the amount of time I spend responding to emails, developing content, and supporting members in relation to sustainability. If asked to explain what sustainability means for the flooring sector, there are many entry points. It is a huge subject area and that strikes me whenever I undertake some work.

Returning to its roots as a guide, there is a very practical article on ways that contractors can improve their green credentials outside of installing sustainable products. A whole list of accessible actions and improvements that make both environmental and business sense. Doing the right thing, whilst at the same time making a flooring contractor more attractive as a supply chain partner to work with.

Included in the Guide is an update on the CISUFLO project

Our work has really begun to gain momentum and we are supporting trials of a circular broadloom carpet. It’s an incredibly interesting project that has many threads including design for circular products and tagging materials so that they can be identified at the end of life and recycled. Tagging concepts have included bar codes and other electronic tags read by scanning the floor with something such as an RFID reader that will provide data such as the manufacturer, design and how they can be recycled. A product passport if you like.

Perhaps obvious to others, but a thread running through all this for me is the need for collaboration. There is a huge amount of work to do, and to drive it forward within a sensible timeframe, and with significant impact, we need to accelerate collaboration. Clearly sustainability already offers a competitive advantage for those that individually engage, and there are excellent examples in the guide of some cross industry collaboration and recycling schemes. In my opinion, identifying more key areas that ideally need more collective work is now fairly critical to avoid Government intervention towards NET Zero 2050.

Recommendations will of course be included in the final CISUFLO reports that we will help disseminate in 2025. I wonder if product tagging is another area where industry collaboration / standards would be ideal? End of use for legacy materials, collection schemes on sites and logistics would all seem like areas where industry should ideally come together and develop ideas through something like the CFA manufacturers and distributors committee.

If you are looking for evidence of this in practice, to the benefit of the whole sector, just consider the work that the CFA has facilitated for many years in terms of installation standards. Those will probably need changing too! This is all food for thought and lots of reasons to have a look at the CFA’s 2024/2025 Guide to Sustainability to find out what’s on offer now, and what others in the industry believe are the key issues to address going forward.

The CFA is a leading trade association representing the Flooring Industry. If you would like an application pack or further information on the benefits of membership, please contact the CFA.
0115 9411126

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