Carpet is designed to look great and last for years. The carpet industry is also designing ways to reduce its carbon footprint. Manufacturers voluntarily address this problem by recycling old carpet materials into new carpet production or alternative uses such as building materials, auto parts, and carpet tile. Because less waste means a better future for us all.
What You Should Know About Carpet Sustainability Facts for Architects, Designers and Builders:
• Through the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), carpet companies are taking the initiative to work with government entities and product suppliers to develop market-based solutions for the recycling and use of post-consumer carpet. For more information, visit carpetrecovery.org.
• It is estimated that carpet recycling efforts currently have saved nearly 4 billion pounds of waste from being deposited in U.S. landfills.
• You can earn LEED points by incorporating salvaged materials– such as refurbished, reused, or recycled carpet – into plans for new construction or renovation. Recycled content carpet meets the same industry performance standards, and carries the same manufacturer warranties, as carpet without recycled content.
• Carpets certified to the Green Label Plus program contribute to Green Globes and LEED® credits for low-emitting materials. Some of these carpets can also contribute to the recycled content, rapidly renewable, and regional credits.
• Green Label Plus is a requirement in the public health and environment sections of NSF/ANSI 140 - the sustainability assessment for carpet. NSF/ANSI 140 is the preeminent measurement of the sustainability characteristics of carpets. By specifying all carpets certified to NSF/ANSI 140, you can be eligible for the Innovation in Design Credit in LEED projects.
• The industry has also taken steps to be more green in carpet production. It is one of the only industries in the United States that voluntarily meets the Kyoto Protocol for carbon dioxide emissions.
• The amount of energy used to produce a square yard of carpet has fallen 70% since 1990. The amount of water used has dropped 46% in the same time period.