Tarkett – worldwide leader in innovative flooring and sports surface solutions – announces its decision to use phthalate-free plasticizers in its vinyl flooring production in Europe in 2014. As part of Tarkett’s commitment to greater sustainability and eco-innovation, these new phthalate-free products* have been designed to improve indoor environment and air quality. The phthalate-free plasticizers selected by Tarkett are approved for food contact containers and can be used for toys intended to be placed in the mouth by children.
“Our eco-innovation program and commitment to sustainability are built around providing our customers with the very best products. Our aim is to offer more comfortable, healthy and people-friendly indoor spaces, without compromising performance and design experience,” explains Anne-Christine Ayed, Executive Vice President Research, Innovation & Environment for Tarkett Group. “The launch of this new generation of resilient flooring products sets another milestone on Tarkett journey towards environmental sustainability and will encourage the industry to follow in the coming years.”
In the past few years, Tarkett pro-actively started deploying the new phthalate-free technology in its North American and Swedish production sites. The Group will now progressively roll it out within all remaining production sites in Europe in 2014 and around the rest of the world in the coming years. In 2009, the Group launched its first phthalate-free vinyl flooring range (iQ Natural) made with renewable plasticizers.
“This eco-innovation shows that Tarkett continues to be leading the resilient flooring industry, setting high market standards to answer consumers’ increasing demand for products that combine health, environment, performance and aesthetics,” explains Remco Teulings, President EMEA Division of Tarkett Group.
Tarkett innovative flooring solutions not only conform to all regulations worldwide but also go far beyond them. Tarkett is committed to re-thinking its products, manufacturing processes and business models according to the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ and circular economy principles which stress the need for a positive contribution to people, the environment, as well as the economic development.
*Excluding Recycled Content
The American Asthma & Allergy Association (AAFA) recognizes Tarkett’s contribution to a healthier indoor environment through the asthma & allergy friendly certification™ of some vinyl flooring ranges that also use phthalate-free plasticizers (i.e. FiberFloor and iQ Natural).
In Europe, Tarkett’s Swedish site began producing phthalate-free vinyl flooring products in 2011, while the remaining four sites (France, Luxemburg, Germany, UK) will begin production of all phthalate-free residential vinyl flooring ranges* starting in January 2014 and by mid-2014 for all professional flooring ranges. In North America, the on-going deployment started in 2010. Some products may still contain limited amount of phthalates coming from previous post-production or pre- or post-consumer recycled materials.
(*except for one collection representing around 2% of the European production)
Tarkett has become the industry reference for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions reduction – from 10 to 100 times lower than the strictest worldwide standards – contributing to better indoor air quality. All Tarkett vinyl and linoleum products manufactured in Europe have Total VOC emissions below 10 to 100 µg/m3 (after 28 days).
Since 2011 Tarkett has applied the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ principles in partnership with the German Environmental Protection & Encouragement Agency (EPEA), which supports the Group in eco-designing products and in becoming a ‘closed loop’ company. The objective is to assess and select materials that are ‘good’ for people and the environment, and that can be recycled and reused as technical or biological nutrients at the end of the use of products. Deploying the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ approach at each step of the product life, Tarkett aims at re-using materials repeatedly without compromising on quality or value for customers, thus contributing to reduce the depletion of resources and waste production, while improving people’s well-being.
Tarkett is the world leader for innovative and sustainable solutions for flooring and sports surfaces. With net sales of 2.3 billion Euros in 2012, 30 production sites and approximately 11,000 employees, Tarkett serves customers in more than 100 countries. Since January 2007, Tarkett has been jointly owned by the Deconinck family (50 percent) and private equity funds affiliated with KKR (50 percent).
For more information, please visit www.tarkett.com