- THE MAGAZINE
ethos, a non-chlorinated thermoplastic terpolymer created from reclaimed PVB film used in laminated safety glass, is an alternative to other structured backings, such as EVA, polyurethane, polyolefin and PVC. The ethos cushion backing system contains 96% post-consumer recycled content. Overall, C&A products made with ethos contain 40-62% recycled content, with a minimum of 40% post-consumer content. C&A employs the Infinity Initiative, its existing closed-loop recycling process, to manufacture and recycle ethos.
"Tandus Technologies, our research and development group, has been evaluating alternative backing polymers for a number of years," said Mac Bridger, CEO of Tandus. "It's part of our culture and our heritage that we provide our customers with a choice of products at a comparable cost that suit their specific needs without compromising our products' performance."
In 2002, Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest nonprofit health plan, issued a Request for Proposal for floorcoverings, specifying its intent to phase out the use of products containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC) without forfeiting any performance characteristics. C&A was the first carpet manufacturer to respond with a viable alternative that met these criteria.
"Kaiser Permanente was instrumental to Tandus as we gained insight and feedback regarding the prototype of many product opportunities and incorporated those findings into our research and product development," said Bridger. "We've learned, as Kaiser Permanente has, that when you willingly collaborate to induce change, the rate of success is so much higher than when change is forced. Our partnership is a perfect example -- there is no question that Kaiser Permanente's leadership and willingness to work with us accelerated this process."
Kaiser Permanente reviewed the product carefully with The Healthy Building Network before approving ethos for use in Kaiser Permanente's healthcare facilities.
"Kaiser Permanente has a history of commitment to environmental health - for the safety and well-being of our employees and our patients, and for the good of the community," said Kathy Gerwig, Director, Environmental Stewardship and National Environmental, Health and Safety Operation, for Kaiser Permanente.