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HomeCFA CommentEnvironmental crisis: The flooring industry can and should play its part

Environmental crisis: The flooring industry can and should play its part

Featured in this edition of CFJ, Richard is delighted to announce the launch of this year’s CFA Sustainability Guide.

FOLLOWING feedback from the industry regarding previous years’ Sustainability Guides, we have made the decision, in partnership with CFJ, to publish this year in digital format only. CFJ have taken a pioneering approach in recent years to using online formats both for its publications and also for hosting some industry events. In view of the topic under discussion in this Guide, it is appropriate that it should be delivered in a format which minimises the use of paper and other raw materials. We hope you agree. It is of course available through the CFA and CFJ websites, we will link to it via social media and CFJ have very kindly included QR codes within the magazine meaning that you can quickly link to open it. We all move forward.

The internationally accepted maximum level of temperature rise, in order to avoid the worst global effects of climate change, is 1.5C. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) believes that, not only can 1.5C be achieved, but it can be achieved in a ‘viable and financially sound manner’ – if we are prepared to accept large changes to the way we live our lives and conduct our businesses.

That in fact is the central pillar of the CFA’s work in this area, and indeed the purpose of the Guide. The CFA aims to take a leadership position on this topic and has done for a number of years. We firstly recognise the scale of the problem, we then recognise that our industry has a role to play, however small, in finding and implementing solutions and finally we are determined to work with our members and the broader industry to develop those solutions and then get them implemented.
We believe that the flooring industry has already achieved a lot. Most businesses understand where within their processes their biggest environmental impacts lie and they are now working to tackle them. We understand that this is a journey, and that some companies are fairly far along the route, whereas others are just starting out.

One of the purposes of this Guide is to highlight the approaches taken by some companies, not because the approaches they are taking are necessarily the only correct ones, but rather to provide reference to some of the best practice in our sector, which might provide inspiration and guidance for others. We have sought to consider these issues both from a manufacturer and a contractor point of view, we have talked to the leading recycling organisations in our sector and also sought an independent, European perspective on CISUFLO and ERFMI from Jane Gardner.

You will also find a glossary containing some of the key terms used around this issue, helping you get to grips with what’s important and what’s not. Finally, we’re delighted that the Construction Products Association has given permission for us to reproduce here a number of their excellent Sustainability Briefing Documents, compiled by Sustainability Policy Advisor Jane Thornback.
The end-section of this Guide comprises contributions submitted by companies in the industry directly to the CFJ editorial team. We are grateful to all companies and individuals who have contributed and we hope that it helps to take the debate forward and provides some inspiration for flooring companies who are considering their own sustainability journeys right now.

Like every other company and organisation, the CFA is on its own sustainability journey, which started in 2010 with the publication of the Flooring Resource Efficiency Action Plan. Last year the work passed a significant milestone, as the CFA scoping study Zero Avoidable Waste in Flooring – Towards a Circular Economy was published. That report aimed to establish a benchmark for the environmental and sustainability position of the contract flooring supply chain, setting out the achievements of the industry so far, while also discussing the challenges and priorities for improving the sector’s performance in the future.

I believe one of the big challenges is co-ordinating this effort as we move along our individual and combined sustainability journeys. There is a balance between innovation driven by many, and simply doing the same thing multiple ways to no great benefit. Ultimately, in some areas, I think we probably need to act as an industry to offer consistency of best practice and perhaps some standardisation to promote the circular model. We are certainly very aware of our actual and potential role as industry leaders, helping facilitate the type of collaborative working which is required, disseminating information via member emails and our website, and lobbying government.

We also regularly hold events for our members which are addressed by authoritative speakers who have special knowledge and insight on this topic, and often our members receive advance news of the latest developments – another benefit of being a CFA member.

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 offices.
0115 9411126

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