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KKR ESG & Citizenship Report

Eco-Efficiency: Tarkett

Improving Process Efficiency

Key Environmental Performance Areas:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Facilities)
  • Water Use
  • Waste Generation

Committed to develop circular economy models in partnerships with customers and suppliers.

Optimization of water consumption, including through water closed loop circuits.

Sustainable development strategy integrated within the operational excellence and cost-effective manufacturing program.

All data and information in this case study are as of December 31, 2015, unless otherwise noted.


The industrial sector accounts for a significant portion of the world’s environmental impacts, including approximately half of global energy use.i Manufacturers can help manage their energy and water consumption and waste production, as well as associated costs and environmental impacts, by improving the efficiency of the facilities as well as of the production process.

Tarkett designs, manufactures, and sells vinyl, carpet, wood, laminate, sports, and other specialty flooring products for the residential and commercial markets in Europe, North and Latin America, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Asia-Pacific. Tarkett has been deploying a sustainable development strategy transforming its business towards a purposeful and collaborative circular economy model, positively impacting people, planet, and profit. As part of this sustainable development strategy, Tarkett seeks to eco-design its products to optimize the use of resources at each stage of their life cycle in accordance with Cradle to Cradle®principles and to make a positive contribution to the environment and human well-being.

In the framework of its “closed loop circular design” approach, based on four pillars (good materials, resource stewardship, people friendly space, reuse), Tarkett works to optimize the use of resources during manufacturing operations. Tarkett monitors key performance areas relating to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water use, and waste generation on a monthly basis through the operational excellence and cost-efficiency World Class Manufacturing (WCM) program deployed within the plants worldwide.

Response — Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Facilities)

As part of its efforts to manage energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, Tarkett has taken a number of actions across its production facilities. These activities include a significant biomass project, through which the wood flooring production plants use sawdust as a raw material for generating their own energy.

  • Since 2012, the wood floor production plant in Orzechowo, Poland, has produced wood bricks, which are sent to a nearby power plant to be transformed into electricity.
  • Starting in 2014, the industrial site in Kalush, Ukraine, which produces both vinyl and wood flooring, began recovering its wood dust. The dust is used to fire the boilers for the vinyl and wood floor production lines, which previously used gas.
  • The laminate flooring production site in Mytishchi, Russia, can reach temperatures up to 45°C. The factory now recovers its wood shavings post-production to be used as fuel for the air conditioning system.
  • In the Narni, Italy site dedicated to linoleum, Tarkett improved its oven isolation systems while using biomass boiler instead of gas. The plant also uses 100% of renewable energy for its administration building based on geothermal system and solar panels.
  • In December 2013, the Farnham site in Canada obtained authorization from the local authorities to process atmospheric emissions without using a regenerative thermal oxidizer. This should permit a reduction in the use of natural gas and in greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2015.
  • In Brazil, the Jacarei production site had been sourcing its mineral filler used for the production of vinyl flooring from a distance of more than 700 kilometers. The plant switched to a supplier located just 60 kilometers from the site, dramatically reducing the transportation distance and thus lowering its transport-related greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Complementary initiatives were also implemented increasing the use of renewable energy or local sourcing.

Results — Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Facilities)ii

In 2014, Tarkett's energy consumption increased by 5 percent per square meter of manufactured product against a 2013 baseline. However, during the same time period, close to 55 percent of Tarkett’s factories reduced their energy consumption per square meter of manufactured product, and Tarkett's 34 manufacturing sites in operation also decreased their energy consumption by 4 percent in absolute terms.

Meanwhile, Tarkett recorded a 3 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in absolute value from factories and administrative buildings in 2014, while overall greenhouse gas emissions increased by 6 percent per square meter of product. This slight relative increase is primarily due to the fact that when production volume decreases, there is not necessarily a proportional decrease in energy consumption, due to factors such as the fixed costs.

Response — Water Use

Tarkett has implemented a number of process improvements to reduce the consumption of potable water in its production activities. For example, in 2014:

  • The Sedan site in France used 3.48 liters of water per square meter produced, or a decrease of 32 percent from the amount used in 2013. This significant improvement resulted primarily from the installation of a water-cooling system for the production line smoke purifiers.
  • The production site in Konz, Germany, installed a closed-loop water circuit and renovated its pipe system. This resulted in a 65 percent reduction (liters/square meter of product) of the water consumption compared with the previous year.
  • The Waterloo site in Canada installed a closed-circuit water recovery system on its cooling equipment. An old reservoir was repaired and put back into service to store the water used in the cooling system; this water is then reused and recycled continuously in the production process.

Results — Water Useiii

In 2014, in absolute terms, Tarkett reduced its water consumption by 899,000 cubic meters, or 21%, when compared to 2013. In the same time period, Tarkett improved the efficiency of its water consumption 16% (liters of water/square meter of product), while it improved efficiency 13% (liters of water/square meter of product) between 2010 and 2014.

Currently 65 percent of Tarkett's factories are equipped with closed-loop water circuits or do not use water in their manufacturing process, as compared with 53 percent in 2013.

Response — Waste Generation

In connection with its World Class Manufacturing program, Tarkett has identified and implemented operational efficiency and cost-reduction action plans to limit waste production and optimize the use of raw materials at production sites. Tarkett has also put in place systems to recover waste, defective products, and production scraps and reincorporate them into its manufacturing process, including scraps from post-installation and post-used flooring. For example:

  • The Clervaux site in Luxembourg owns a recycling center for both post-manufacturing scraps and post-installation flooring, which is used to produce sub-layers for new vinyl flooring products.
  • Similarly, the Florence, Alabama, site in the United States recovers scraps from all of Tarkett's vinyl factories in the country, recycles them, and reincorporates them into the manufacturing process.
  • Tarkett also uses post-manufacturing scraps from other flooring companies and other industries that are recycled in the manufacturing process. For example, in Brazil, Tarkett recovers aggregates of medication packaging (blisters) to be transformed and used for vinyl flooring production.
  • Recovery programs such as ReStart in North America and in Europe collect and recycle on site leftover material from installation and replacement, through Tarkett’s seven internal recycling centers and through partnerships with collection networks.

Results — Waste Generationiv

In 2014, Tarkett's ratio of industrial waste for disposal per square meter increased by 8 percent (grams of waste/m2 of product). This slight increase was mostly due to the start of new production lines in Brazil and in the United States. However, compared to a baseline year 2010, Tarkett shows an 11 percent improvement in efficiency (grams of waste/m2 of product).

Tarkett also decreased waste going to landfill from all of its factories by 2 percent, for a total of 14,283 tons in 2014 compared to 2013. Additionally, 13,500 metric tons of post-installation and post-consumer flooring were collected through recovery programs in 2014.

Tarkett participated in the Green Portfolio Program, joining the effort in 2010. In addition to the above mentioned activities related to the Green Solutions Platform, Tarkett is committed to other aspects of sustainability in its strategy and operations. For more information on Tarkett's sustainability program, visit the company's website.

i Frequently Asked Questions, U.S. Energy Information Administration, accessed October 1, 2015.

ii In 2015, KKR began utilizing performance data that Tarkett assesses using its own protocols. Therefore, past program results and baselines have been restated to reflect the company’s information.

iii In 2015, KKR began utilizing performance data that Tarkett assesses using its own protocols. Therefore, past program results and baselines have been restated to reflect the company’s information.

In 2015, KKR began utilizing performance data that Tarkett assesses using its own protocols. Therefore, past program results and baselines have been restated to reflect the company’s information.