Green Business Awards 2008: Best Overall Environmental Performance - Winner InterfaceFlor

Modular flooring company InterfaceFlor, a division of US carpeting multinational Interface, is widely recognised as one of the world's greenest firms.

The company launched a Mission Zero programme in the mid-1990s, aiming to become the first genuinely sustainable business by 2020. Latest monitoring results show that since 1996, InterfaceFlor has achieved reductions of 82% in net greenhouse gas emissions and 75% in manufacturing waste going to landfill, and a 45% cut in energy consumption per unit of product. Green improvements have generated cumulative cost savings worth £218m.

InterfaceFlor's Mission Zero initiative was conceived in the mid-90s by the firm's founder and chairman Ray Anderson. From that point, it began to shift its operations from a 'take, make and waste' approach to a more natural or cyclical system of material and resource flows. Its aim is to become a genuinely sustainable business by 2020.

Mission Zero is the centrepiece of an overall sustainability plan. Goals include: eliminating waste and harmful emissions; maximising use of renewable energy; recycling waste materials; re-using products; and developing resource-efficient transport systems.

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