Tarkett hosted its second annual Sustainability Summit in Cleveland.
 
Michel Giannuzzi, the company’s global CEO, shared Tarkett’s “Four Ps” strategy to help build a sustainable world through purpose, people, planet and profit. 
 
Tarkett also invited Sudeep Motupalli Rao, from the U.S. Environmental Protection and Encouragement Agency (EPEA) to explain the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) framework and the circular economy challenges. Following Motupalli Rao, Andrew Winston, author and founder of Winston Eco-Strategies, shared his vision of “The Big Pivot: Doing Business in a Hotter, Scarcer, More Open World,”
 
More than 30 architects, designers, distributors, contractors and end-users from companies throughout North America were in attendance.
 
According to the company, the summit provided an interactive forum for architects and designers who are committed to sustainable design and building to connect with one another, while gaining a greater understanding of industry-critical topics like material transparency and optimization, circular economy and recycling. 
 
"Having the opportunity to share our sustainable vision with North American architects and designers is vital to our journey in improving performance standards throughout the industry,” said Giannuzzi. “Tarkett strives to communicate in a transparent manner with solutions that answer and anticipate not only the needs of the A&D community but also users’ expectations—combining people’s wellbeing, environmental protection, performance and aestheticism."
 
Working in tandem with the scientific institute EPEA, Tarkett has focused on developing and manufacturing products that address the circular economy through people, planet and profit, and widely deploying the C2C principles within the company. EPEA values are based on intelligent, aesthetic and eco-effective design and are dedicated to optimizing products within the C2C framework. Interactive roundtable discussions throughout the seminar addressed not only Tarkett and the EPEA framework, but also the evolution of materials transparency and chemical regulations as well as logistical challenges with integrating sustainability into business and recycling. 
 
Giannuzzi and Diane Martel, vice president of environmental planning and strategy for Tarkett, presented the company’s annual ReStart Awards, which honor the architect, designer, installer, distributor and/or end user whose project has successfully diverted flooring from landfills using the company’s ReStart Recycling and Reclamation Program.
 
This year’s award recipients were Walmart, Linron Company and M. Frank Higgins.
 
"ReStart allows building owners and specifiers to make environmental responsibility a practical part of the way they do business,” said Martel. “Often it is costly to remove waste from the job site but with ReStart they are getting a massive amount of flooring job scrap off the site at no additional cost, while minimizing the impact on the environment." 
 
More than seven years ago, Walmart initiated recycling with Tarkett, through its distributor Linron Co., focusing on returning Azrock vinyl composition tile to its origin to avoid landfill and recycling the product into new tile. In less than one year, Walmart, Linron and Tarkett were able to collect more than 19 million pounds of reclaimed material. The companies also replaced cardboard containers with Super Sacks, which were easier to process and reusable. 
 
Joe Jared, vice president, administration, for Tarkett, presented the award, which was accepted by James Schiely, senior construction manager at Walmart Corporate U.S. Jared said, “Over the course of our relationship with Walmart, more than 91 million pounds of reclaimed materials have been returned to Tarkett. Walmart has further developed a keen awareness and commitment to the environment and sustainability.” 
 
A national distributor for retail chains, Linron accounted for 19.4 million pounds of recycled flooring. Linda Krienke and Ron Harris, co-founders of Linron and Gilles de Beaumont, Linron's vice president business development, were in attendance to accept the award. 
 
“The team at Linron is versatile, flexible and reliable. The recycling of Azrock materials was new to Linron as well, and it was responsible for the operational changes necessary, adapting to the needs of our customer,” said Jared. “It focuses on solution development no matter the circumstance—especially when it comes to recycling and environmental responsibility.” 
 
Commercial flooring contractors with headquarters in Connecticut since 1952, M. Frank Higgins & Co. recycled over 96,000 pounds of flooring in 2013, according to the company. The company specializes in healthcare and education commercial environments. Kathy and Steve Cloud, owners, accepted the award for the company. 
 
Following the Tarkett Sustainability Summit, Giannuzzi joined other global business leaders at the Third Global Forum “Flourish and Prosper” at Case Western University in Cleveland to share experiences and discuss how sustainable practices positively affect profitability and can be managed as a growth engine for new business opportunities and how to fully embed sustainable practices within the organization.

For more information, visit tarkett.com.