The Carpet Industry's Commitment to Sustainability
The carpet and rug industry is committed to serving our customers, our communities, and the millions of people who benefit from our products every day. Our industry has long been committed to creating sustainable and beautiful products for people in their homes, schools, and commercial spaces, and we continue to innovate to minimize the environmental impact of carpet products and manufacturing.
The carpet industry takes a holistic approach to sustainability that is responsible, proactive, and seeks to balance various stakeholder needs and interests. Carpet manufacturers focus on reducing water and energy use, strive to create zero waste, incorporate recycled content in new carpet products, and recycle carpet to reduce the amount of discarded carpet that goes into landfills. In fact, over the past 15 years, carpet manufacturers have invested in creating a carpet recycling industry that has diverted over 5 billion pounds of carpet from landfills.
Recycling carpet is far more complex than recycling glass, cans, plastic bottles, and cardboard. There is no simple, one-size-fits-all solution. To produce quality, durable products for consumers, carpet is made from many materials that are bound together in different ways, making it complicated to deconstruct, sort and process. Carpet also presents unique recycling challenges due to its size and bulk. We are continuing to invest both in technology and market development to make even broader adoption of carpet recycling possible.
The industry’s resolve in this challenging endeavor is strong, as is our dedication to environmental stewardship. The public will be best served by our continued investment in solutions and not by additional regulation that stands to do more harm than good – including putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk.
The carpet industry continues to invest in innovation and sustainability, product health and safety, and the careful use of natural resources – all while providing our customers with the quality carpet products they desire.
Carpet is a Sustainable Choice
The carpet industry places the health and well-being of people and the environment above all else. Carpet manufacturers have long led the way in focusing on product safety, while delivering on sustainability and beauty for homes, schools, and commercial spaces. Our manufacturing processes are innovative and environmentally sound.
Several leading carpet manufacturers are stepping up efforts to communicate the components of carpet – and their relationship to human and ecological health. In addition, many carpet manufacturers are emphasizing the positive environmental impact of carpet products and manufacturing processes through third-party programs, accreditation, and assessments.
Carpet Manufacturers are Responsible Stewards of the Environment
During the carpet manufacturing process, the industry strives to create as little waste as possible. The carpet industry has improved energy efficiency by using new technology and renewable and alternate energy sources to power facilities and transportation. Carpet manufacturers are also reducing water use within operations by incorporating recycled water in the process and closely managing supply chains with an eye towards water reduction.
Innovation After End Use
The carpet industry continues to be committed to improving carpet recycling options and divert carpet from landfills. Through the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), carpet companies, government entities and product suppliers are working to develop market-based solutions for the recycling and re-use of post-consumer carpet. Carpet materials are put back into carpet production or turned into things such as building materials and auto parts.
Carpet Offers Style, Performance, Comfort, and Sustainability
Carpet is a beautiful and sustainable flooring choice for homes, offices, schools and commercial spaces. But carpet offers more than beauty: it provides a comfortable place to sit, work, learn and play. It also cushions the impact of slips and falls, reduces noise and makes it easier to learn and concentrate.
Your Carpet is “Made in the USA”
Carpet manufacturing is an important American industry. Hundreds of thousands of American households thrive and prosper because of the U.S. carpet industry. Carpet manufacturers directly employ nearly 50,000 people in the United States and create up to 200,000 additional jobs
What We're Working On
UL Environment, a division of UL (Underwriters Laboratories) today announced that The Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI’s) Green Label Plus™ certified carpet, cushion and adhesive products will be added to SPOT™, UL’s web-based product sustainability information tool. The addition of Green Label Plus products will provide SPOT users with access to more than 600 additional flooring products that have low chemical emissions, enhancing their ability to identify healthier, more sustainable flooring that meets their project needs.
“For 25 years, CRI Green Label Plus has been a trusted certification program that demonstrates carpet products have low emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds,” said Joe Yarbrough, president of The Carpet and Rug Institute.
The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels now includes The Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus (GLP) certification program. CRI’s NSF/ANSI 140: Sustainability Assessment for Carpet was included in the same EPA guidelines as a multi-attribute standard earlier this year.
“We’re pleased that GLP products are now eligible for purchase under the federal procurement guidelines,” CRI President Joe Yarbrough said. “This reinforces that the rigorous analysis undertaken through the Green Label Plus program is among the best indoor air quality testing programs for flooring.”