Marmoleum has been on a sustainability path for over 150 years. Since it was first developed there has been one constant – change.
The pace of change is accelerating and impacting upon all of us. We are being forced to question almost every aspect of our lives as we begin to feel the impacts brought about by climate change, material depletion, population growth and wealth creation.
Our path is not a straightforward one and whilst we acknowledge considerable achievements, the weighted average of our Marmoleum product range is CO2 neutral (cradle to gate) – without offsetting, we accept the new challenges that the next 150 years will bring, with increased energy and resolve.
Our path is still unfolding, as we strive towards a fully sustainable future. We invite you to join us… to choose consciously…
MARMOLEUM RAW MATERIALS
Depending on the color, Marmoleum consists of between 97 and 98 percent natural raw materials such as linseed oil, jute and wood, 73 percent of which grow back particularly quickly. These raw materials bind the greenhouse gas CO2 through photosynthesis during their growth and thus make an active contribution to climate protection.
In addition, 35 percent recycled material and 9 percent high-quality upcycling material are used in production, which significantly reduces the consumption of primary raw materials. In addition, the production of linoleum requires significantly less energy than the production of elastic floor coverings based on plastic. These aspects make Marmoleum not only a real natural talent in comparison!
The weighted average of our Marmoleum product range is CO2 neutral (cradle to gate), without offsetting. It combines ecological values with contemporary design and offers an important contribution to a sustainable world.
RENEWABLE RAW MATERIALS
Fossil raw materials such as oil, gas, coal and uranium are only available to a limited extent on earth and, according to estimates by experts, will run out in a more or less foreseeable period of time if consumption continues.
Renewable raw materials, on the other hand, can help to slow down climate change. When used for energy, they not only release fewer greenhouse gases than fossil raw materials, but can even absorb CO2 during the growth phase. Renewable raw materials are also not finite and can be obtained almost anywhere on earth.
Responsible for the enrichment of the atmosphere with greenhouse gases are the around 40 gigatons of CO2 that are released annually through the combustion and use of fossil raw materials in energy production, in industry and in transport. In the coming decades this will lead to a global rise in temperature of around 3 degrees Celsius. This makes it all the more important to both lower the energy requirement in production and to minimize the use of fossil raw materials.
The craft of manufacturing linoleum has evolved over the last 150 years. Forbo has been driving this development through its Marmoleum brand. Making Marmoleum flooring is an art, which you cannot learn at any trade – or craft school. In fact, only a handful of people know how to make Marmoleum.
Determining the correct mixture of ingredients, allowing the right time for raw materials to settle, applying the correct temperature and pressure are skills a Marmoleum Expert must master. We are proud of our experts, as they take pride in creating our Marmoleum floors.
WHAT IS CIRCULAR ECONOMY?
The essence of a circular economy is to preserve natural resources by retaining the quality and value of products and their parts. For a circular economy the best thing is to prevent waste that is created in the first place. For example, choosing a floor that lasts more then 20 years is preferred to replacing a floor every few years. If that is not possible it helps to choose a floor that is easy to remove. This gives an opportunity to reuse it somewhere else or makes it easier to recycle.
Circular by Nature
In essence a circular economy is one that aims to decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources. Marmoleum is a product that epitomises that aim:
– it has a high content of rapidly renewable materials, these take up CO2 during their growth, thereby helping to reduce global warming
– uses waste from other industries as raw materials, wood flour and cocoa shells
– is produced with renewable electricity
– reuse of waste from own processes minimises dependence upon finite resources, both in materials and energy
Circular design enables us to develop products that truly incorporate end of life solutions. It has been shown that one of the biggest inhibitors to recycling flooring is removing adhesives. Therefore, we have developed innovative adhesive-free products, such as Marmoleum Click, and our innovation teams are continuously testing and developing new solutions.
Circularity in our factory sites
Wherever possible post-industrial wastes are reused back into our Marmoleum products. Some wastes such as jute and backing papers are given to social enterprises who are able to upcycle them. This builds on our zero waste to landfill and incineration mission.
Circularity in the supply chain
The principles of circularity can be seen in the supply chain – packaging materials, typically paper, wooden pallets and shrink wrap are all recyclable.
Back to the Floor
Installation waste is often overlooked, but is a clean source of material that is recyclable. Forbo has recognised this and developed its ‘Back to the Floor’ scheme – collecting wastes and then recycling them back into new product at our linoleum factories. This contributes to the 43% reused and recycled content in Marmoleum.
Marmoleum is known for its durability and timeless design and we guarantee this for 10 years. However, due to its natural ingredients, Marmoleum continues to strengthen with age and it has been known to have a life expectancy of more than 40 years!
At the beginning of 2018 Forbo embarked on a collaborative study to evaluate the recycling of post-consumer Marmoleum. Termed ‘Renoleum’, this research work identified opportunities that we can take further, such as Marmoleum being compostable.
You can find more background information on Forbo Flooring and the various Marmoleum collections on the manufacturer’s side.