Carpet manufacturer Interface - Smart Energy Decisions

Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  May 4, 2016

Interface Americas manufacturing sites are using 96% renewable energy, biofuel

Modular carpet manufacturing company Interface  said May 4 that its North American manufacturing sites now operated using 96% renewable energy, including a notable amount of directed biogas. 

The milestone, Interface said in a news release, represents progress on its"mission zero" initiative to eliminate the company's negative environmental impacts by 2020. Interface's global renewable energy usage is at 84%. 

"Getting our factories in Americas to near 100% in renewable energy is a significant achievement, one that is a first for our industry and likely for industry in general,"Erin Meezan, vice president of sustainability for Interface Inc. said in the release.  "When we began our focus on mission zero 22 years ago, renewable energy was at the heart of our strategy to eliminate our carbon footprint."

Interface said it is ahead of its mission zero plans, and is on track to meet its 2020 objectives, in part due to the addition of directed biogas to meet the thermal energy needs of the company's flagship operations in Troup County, Ga.

Because landfill gas has the potential – if upgraded –  to become a source of renewable energy in the U.S., an interagency effort to study biogas was mandated as part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan. The U.S. EPA and the Departments of Agriculture and Energy recognized directed biogas as an emerging technology in a December 2015 report, saying: "Strategically deployed biogas systems offer the nation a cost-effective and profitable solution to reducing emissions, diverting waste streams, and producing renewable energy."

Interface says it pioneered the direct use of landfill gas derived from a local landfill at one of its Troup County, Ga., facilities in 2005. In 2015, Interface started supplementing that landfill gas use by procuring directed biogas, where  the renewable attributes of biogas injected at one point on an interconnected pipeline system are matched with the same quantity of natural gas at another point on the system.  

Today, directed biogas makes up 53% of Interface's local renewable energy profile, the remainder of which comprises 42% renewable electricity, 4% propane and 1% landfill gas. 

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