Building Product Manufacturing Done Right

ANEW and Verdical Group: Partnering to Do What’s Right With What’s Left

By Martin Smith

If you’re creating sustainable building products for some of the most progressive green buildings in the world, it makes sense for your own company office or studio to be certified in an equally ultra-green rating system. Surprisingly, there is only one building product manufacturer in the world that has received Living Building Challenge (LBC) Petal Certification. Mohawk Group, a leader in the sustainable commercial flooring industry, has recently announced that their Light Lab—a renovated design studio in Georgia—achieved the prestigious Petal Certification from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). This specific type of certification requires that a project fulfill the requirements in at least three categories of the Living Building Challenge, with at least one being from the water, energy, or materials category.

With industry pioneers like Rochelle Routman, recognized in 2014 as one of the top 10 most powerful women leaders in sustainability, it’s no wonder Mohawk Group was the first of its kind to receive this certification. Routman, Vice President of Sustainability at Mohawk Group, says that they are “initiating a new discussion with leaders in the architectural and design communities, as well as the construction industry, that places an emphasis on human and environmental health as a major consideration in product design and selection.” What about human and environmental health is considered with their products?  Just how is Mohawk Group initiating this discussion?


The Best Flooring Around

Mohawk Group holds a family of brands, including Karastan, Lees, Bigelow, and Durkan—all of which are regarded as some of the best commercial flooring options in the industry. In this sentence, best doesn’t simply mean the highest quality for a project, but over the entire product’s life-cycle, best for the building, the people, and the environment. Mohawk Group’s transparency portfolio includes one of the largest collections of third-party verified products, consisting of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), Health Product Declarations (HPDs), and Declare labels (started by ILFI).

The number of their products that pass the environmentally rigorous chemical-free, VOC-free requirements of certifications such as Declare has grown exponentially. Back in May 2014, Mohawk Group offered a little more than 70 Red List free products. This year, in March 2016, they announced that that list has grown to 500. The Declare product label below, which acts as a sort of “nutrition label” for products, is just one example from Mohawk Group’s long list of environmentally beneficial flooring creations.

                                                                      Photo credit: Mohawk Group

Kayleigh Gregory, Sustainability Coordinator (top left); Rochelle Routman, VP of Sustainability (bottom left)

Gathering the Leaders

Verdical Group is helping to facilitate Mohawk’s mission by hosting the 3rd annual Net Zero Energy + Water + Waste Conference on August 19th, 2016. Rochelle Routman, along with Mohawk Group’s Sustainability Coordinator, Kayleigh Gregory, will be welcoming attendees and holding a speaker session on “Zero Landfill Manufacturing” there. For more information about Verdical Group’s NZ16 Conference—our largest event yet—please visit the Conference webpage here.