“To achieve carbon neutrality, the circular economy is the key”, interview with Daphné Astaix, marketing and technical director of Tarkett France [source BatiActu – 29/06/21]

RECYCLING. This is one of the major challenges facing the building and construction industry today, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality: thinking about the life cycle of the products it uses. An example of an initiative with the company Tarkett, which deploys a strategy to reduce its waste.


Is the construction sector torn between the low carbon strategy, the health issue and the health economy? This is the question that flooring specialist Tarkett sought to answer during a webinar held on June 29 in partnership with Upcyclea, a digital platform that accelerates the transition of territories and companies to the circular economy. The key issue in achieving carbon neutrality is the circular economy, according to Myriam Tryjefaczka, Tarkett EMEA’s director of sustainability and public affairs. The building sector, at the forefront of climate neutrality, must“find the balance to the well-being of occupants“, she considers, calling for greater transparency on the environmental performance of products in the sector.


Obtaining income through the resale of materials


“Construction is a bad business,” replied Christine Guinebretière, co-founder and CEO of Upcyclea. “35% of the natural resources in Europe are used and 70% of the waste volumes come from the building industry. The problem is that the majority of products implemented 20 or 40 years ago were not designed to be circular.” This is no longer the case: some products can be used for a good, which will itself be operated and maintained in such a way that it will produce less waste. Some materials can even bring in income when resold at the end of their life, the platform’s co-founder wanted to remind us.


Thanks to a database developed by Upcyclea, professionals can access information on a range of products to automatically calculate the information needed to design a circular building, such as the degree of non-toxicity, the co2 footprint of the products and the degree of circularity (with recycled, recyclable, reused and biosourced products). “Professionals are increasingly interested in the degree of non-toxicity, to know if the products are good for the health of the inhabitants. It’s a heritage that increases in value“she assured.


Biosourced, the solution to everything?


If Daphne Astaix, marketing and technical director of Tarkett France, said that the company has been committed for a decade in the issues of circular economy, she also announced that 98% of the company’s raw materials have been evaluated by an external organization to attest to their transparency on the non-toxicity of their products. “While biobased is in the spotlight right now, we shouldn’t overshadow the rest of the elements, such as the suitability of the product for the purpose and how it’s going to be handled at the end of its life.” According to her, biobased materials are not the answer to everything, even though the crisis of raw material shortages is hitting the construction sector hard.


The flooring specialist is working to“reduce the environmental impact of [ses] plants, using renewable energy and implementing a closed loop to allow for better water management.”


The ReStart program also has the principle of recycling the offcuts of its products. “Every square meter we recover at the end of use saves 9.8 kg of CO2,” Astaix said. The company also replaced fossil material with biomass material for its iQ Natural sustainable vinyl flooring collection, which has an estimated lifespan of 30 years. Airmaster, another of its carpets, “captures fine particles for better indoor air quality“. As for the new Serene collection, the carpets are made from recycled fishing nets and carpet yarn. “They are 100% recyclable at the end of their life in our factories.”


127,000 tons of recycled materials


The company boasted that it had recycled 127,000 tons of material by 2020, saving 253,000 tons of CO2 emissions.“To get an idea of what this represents, it’s more than what our factories produce,” explained Myriam Tryjefaczka. According to her, the product passport, like Upcyclea, must be imposed to allow the calculation of the circular footprint of the building.


The impact of climate disruption will be very costly to society, in terms of material shortages, public health issues with heat waves, and future epidemics. We wanted to anticipate this, which was not yet in the regulations. If low emission levels are to be achieved, recycling must be considered“, called Myriam Tryjefaczka.


[Source Batiactu – article written by Lilas-Apollonia Fournier, on 29/06/21]

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