Vinyl floor manufacturer, Polyflor, has released their sustainability report for the past year, which shows that vinyl floors are worth considering as an environmentally sustainable flooring alternative.

According to Tandy Coleman-Spolander, Sales and Marketing Director for Polyflor SA, the environmental achievements the company has posted in its 7th Annual Sustainability Report prove that vinyl flooring is considered to be an environmentally sound and responsible choice.

What is vinyl?

“Vinyl is a cost effective multi-faceted plastic that has become a necessity in everyday life due to its flexibility, durability, performance and functionality”, Tandy says. Used in flooring, cables, windows, packaging and medical equipment including blood bags and surgical tubing, this material is irreplaceable for many of its lifesaving applications. Until recently, however, PVC was not considered an environmentally responsible building or décor material.

Due to the development of modern manufacturing processes, vinyl floors have a low environmental impact.  

Despite these impressive credentials, Polyflor is mindful of the dangers of ‘greenwashing’ and has gone to great lengths to ensure they have sound environmental credentials and systems in place.

“Transparency is crucial at a time where environmental issues become increasingly important and companies seek commercial advantage wherever they can”, Tandy says.  So for example, the company’s report states that it only recycled 164 tonnes of liquid waste in 2010, compared to 210 tonnes in 2009. However, the reason for this reduction is clearly pointed out due to the fact that the Polyflor produced less waste that needed to be recycled.

Another achievement is the improvement in energy efficiency in the manufacturing of the product. Vinyl is energy efficient to produce and embedded energy is further reduced when recycled material is used in place of raw materials.

Other green advantages…

Easy maintenance also means that energy intensive cleaning is not required and harsh chemical cleaners, polish, strippers and water usage are massively reduced, if needed at all.

Vinyl is 100% recyclable and can be recycled many times over without losing any of its performance properties. If it is not recycled, vinyl has a high calorific value and may be safely incinerated with energy recovery. Landfill is the last option, but this is done safely and so the vinyl remains chemically inert without producing leachate.

To view the complete Polyflor Environmental Report click here