Carbon Hero Feature: Forbo Flooring Systems

Forbo Flooring Systems is a company whose core values are in innovative products, people, and the planet. They have been supporting Carbon Positive Australia’s work since 2018. We wanted to highlight that support in our interview with David Blakemore. He took the time to chat with us about the company’s inspirations and why caring for the environment is so important.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and the inspirations behind your brand?

Forbo Flooring has a long history dating back to the very beginning of floor coverings and their manufacture. The company officially formed 93 years ago; however, some flooring options such as Marmoleum/Linoleum have been in existence and manufactured for over 150 years. The inspiration behind the brand has always been to create better environments through our flooring and turning interior spaces into beautifully designed spaces that are functional and healthy. The floor is central to all spaces and should be a considered decision.

Why is caring for the environment important to you?

We realised many years ago that sustainability was core to the ongoing life of a business and life in general and really is common sense. Caring for the natural world when it provides us with the ability to live should be something we respect and protect. It is simply the right thing to do.

In 2005, we aligned our organisation against the UN’s definition of sustainability as a starting point and have since evolved from there in our thinking towards the planet and future generations. Our core product Marmoleum we knew was a sustainable groundbreaker early on and in 1996 became the first floor covering to have a full independent life cycle assessment completed. These early steps have allowed us to go on and improve and achieve a carbon-neutral product (cradle to gate) and without offsetting, which is unique.

What motivates you to support Carbon Positive’s work in particular?

There are many parts to sustainability. However, reducing carbon emissions is critical to our present and future.

“We have to take real action now, and partnering with Carbon Positive in Australia to help reduce emissions and also restore native Australian habitat was a logical choice and something our entire Australian team is passionate about”.– David Blakemore

We want to see habitats restored and damage reversed. Each project we work on can have a positive impact rather than a negative one.

Are there any other green initiatives that your organisation is working on?

Yes, of course. We still align with the UN and the more recent Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), whichprovide so many opportunities to continue to improve. Reducing emissions and carbon neutrality across the board is our ambition, and so is circularity and becoming a zero-waste company across all entities.

Forbo has also recently been invited to join the World Green Building Council’s (WorldGBC) Corporate Advisory Board. The WorldGBC Corporate Advisory Board is a select group of global leaders in sustainability, active in the Building and Construction industry. These companies serve to guide WorldGBC on its strategy and activities to accelerate the sustainable building movement. It is an opportunity to actively contribute to green building beyond the scope of our company. Working together on a global scale towards a greener built environment.

Do you have any environmental goals that you would like to achieve? If yes, how and by when?

We have set a number of sustainability goals to achieve by 2025 as part of our next sustainability challenge. The large objectives relate to reducing our total carbon emissions and reducing waste. We are also looking at making sure our entire team have sustainability training so understand the initiatives and can drive action. Moving to fully non-fossil-based fuel cars and transport in countries where the infrastructure allows.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our supporters?

When choosing flooring, please make it a considered decision and investigate the raw materials and their origins, environmental and social impacts. This can be done by viewing certified environmental product declarations (EPD’s) and understanding if supply chains comply with human rights and labour norms.

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