Manufacturer unveils carbon negative carpets

The world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpets, Interface, has unveiled a carbon negative carpet, which is binding, reversing and absorbing CO2 within its manufacturing process.

Interface has taken selected plant-derived carbon and converted it into a durable material that stores that carbon and make the carpet carbon negative - image courtesy of Interface
Interface has taken selected plant-derived carbon and converted it into a durable material that stores that carbon and make the carpet carbon negative – image courtesy of Interface

Carbon negative products are climate friendly products, since during their manufacturing process, more carbon dioxide is captured than released.

The fabrication of products can release tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and therefore products which can absorb or reverse this process, are considered as a very effective and climate friendly solution.

Interface has created a first-of-its-kind prototype, the Proof Positive tile, which proves that with new approaches to materials sourcing and manufacturing, it is possible, to make a product with the potential to reverse global warming.

Every day, plants and vegetation pull carbon out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis, but release it when they decompose.

Interface has taken selected plant-derived carbon and converted it into a durable material that stores that carbon for at least a generation. The carbon is stored in the materials that make up the Proof Positive tile.

The carbon in Interface’s recycling system ensures that it stays in a closed technical loop where it belongs, rather than in the atmosphere where it has negative effects on climate.

After the tile is made, there is less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than if it had not been manufactured in the first place.

Interface’s chief innovative officer, Chad Scales explained: “We can see a not-so-distant future in which architects, designers, and businesses collaborate to create spaces with climate change in mind, by choosing materials that will reverse global warming.

“This Proof Positive tile is an important step in our Climate Take Back™ mission as we look at climate change as an opportunity, not a problem.”

Since 1996, Interface has reduced its cradle-to-gate product carbon emissions from an average of 20kg of carbon per sqm to just over 7kg per sqm in 2016.

Should this approach to manufacturing products become mainstream over time, at volume and full scale, it could become a critical solution to reversing global warming over the long-term.