We firmly believe that conducting business responsibly and creating sustainable solutions is a “must do” to keep us ahead of the game. But as an industry leader in cushion vinyl flooring, we also feel that it’s our moral duty to contribute to a more sustainable world. Especially as we are in a position to make a big difference. Strolling around the house, navigating the office, shopping in town ... we all tread on millions of square metres of cushion vinyl flooring as we live our everyday lives. And Beauflor is a major player, delivering large volumes of vinyl flooring to all corners of the world every year.
Because we are well aware of our enormous social and environmental responsibilities, we’ve incorporated a sustainable approach into all aspects of our business – from deeply caring for our employees to offering a growing number of eco-friendly flooring solutions.
Beauflor is a subsidiary of the Beaulieu International Group (B.I.G.), a global industrial group that specialises in polymers, engineered solutions and flooring solutions. In terms of vinyl flooring solutions, Beauflor has become a world leader. Being part of a resilient group allows us to focus on what we do best: building long-term partnerships, creating 100%-customisable designs, offering strong digital services and supporting our customers with a down-to-earth attitude.
Sustainability is an integral part of Beauflor as well as B.I.G. which will gain in importance in the years to come. In order to deliver “Continuous Improvement” when it comes to environmental, social, ethical and economical matters, we have created our very own sustainability model. Why? Because we felt that a general framework, such as the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, falls somewhat short of our own unique aspirations. After carefully discussing our aspirations with our colleagues, we translated their concerns and ambitions into 5 focus points, which are closely intertwined with our company DNA:
We want to help consumers to reduce their ecological footprints, whether it’s a family wanting to refurbish their home, a businessman planning to build new offices or a retail store looking to find an ideal mix between usability and sustainability. All our products aim to be green. But what exactly makes a product truly ‘green’? The answer lies in lifecycle assessment. Lifecycle assessment implies that everyone in the whole chain of a product’s lifecycle, from cradle to grave, has a responsibility and a role to play. From the sourcing of raw materials to end-of-life solutions: every phase of our supply chain offers opportunities to protect the planet. It is our ambition to seize those opportunities to the fullest.
Every product lifecycle starts with the extraction and sourcing of raw materials. Two basic principles help us to pinpoint effective actions on this front. First, the less material needed, the better. We always try to optimise our products so that we only need a minimum of material to begin with, our “Foaming” process is a prime example of this. Second, for the materials we do need, we minimise our footprint.
We source our raw materials close to our manufacturing facilities. Moreover, through smart logistics, we limit deliveries to 2 or 3 times a week, instead of organising daily deliveries.
By committing to only using REACH compliant chemicals, we assure consumers that they’ll get a floor free from potentially hazardous chemical substances.
Through a network of trusted suppliers, we make sure all raw materials carry the necessary certificates. Our sustainability code also applies to them.
Natural fillers, in the form of calcium carbonate (mainly limestone), are used to add bulk to the mixture and to reduce the amount of resin required. This is what gives the vinyl its deep luxury texture. The limestone also adds dimensional stability to the floor and provides a neutral background to set off the colour or pattern. Good to know: limestone is known for its UV resistance, which increases the durability of the floor. The material also reduces the volume of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) released into the atmosphere and requires little or no processing.
Vinyl flooring consists of multiple layers: a base layer, a core layer, a printed layer and a protective wear layer. Each of these layers contains different materials, but we keep a close eye on their environmental impacts. For example, the stabilisers we add to the PVC are organic. The inks we use to print the pattern are water based, 100% recyclable and free of toxic fumes. The PU lacquer is hardened with UV light, which helps minimise energy consumption in our factories.
Our ambition is simple: we want our customers to enjoy the safest and healthiest floor coverings available on the market. That may sound like overstretching it, but our vinyl floors already rank among the world’s top floors for sustainable use. This achievement is rooted in years of product innovation, smart investments and cross-sectoral experience. Responsible installation, although it may seem unimportant, can also make a big difference.
A selection of the actions we take to deliver a world-class installation and user experience:
A selection of the actions we take to create meaningful end-of-life solutions:
We will ensure full compliance with environmental regulations and laws and regard best practice as the minimum standards for environmental performance.
We will further minimise the need for raw materials and protect our planet’s resources, and we will responsibly source the – preferably natural – materials required for our manufacturing processes.
We will invest in facilities, equipment and technology to establish energy efficiency, effective waste management and sustainable water consumption.
We will explore new ways of transport and smart logistics that ease the burden on our planet.
We will continue to commit to eco-packaging and adhesive-free installation processes.
We will create flooring solutions that improve people’s lives in a range of ways, from guaranteeing indoor air quality to offering acoustic benefits.
We will keep our focus on materials and end products that are fully recyclable.
We will take care of our employees as well as local communities.
We will only work with partners that commit to our values of integrity and sustainability.
Pioneering with circularity
We could elaborate on how much we care about our planet and the people living on it, but we prefer to show which concrete projects we have in store for the future rather than stating the obvious.
The European Circular Flooring project aims to establish a circular recycling process for post-consumer PVC floor coverings.
For PVC products, recycling rates of only 20% have been achieved so far, while a large percentage of the PVC waste is still landfilled or incinerated.
The consortium is further developing the CreaSolv® Recycling Process to separate PVC resin (from post-consumer floor coverings) from legacy plasticisers (phthalic acid esters) that do not conform to the EU REACH Directive.
As part of ERFMI, the European trade association representing the interests of the resilient floor covering industry in Europe, our in-house R&D team will analyse the usability of the PVC recyclate resulting from the CreaSolv® Process in our flooring products.
As an EU Horizon 2020 project, CISUFLO sets up a framework for circular and sustainable floor coverings, while minimising the environmental impact of the sector. The project will include 6 pilots focusing on manufacturing, sorting, separating and recycling laminate, resilient and carpet floor coverings.
To support the European Union’s transition towards a circular economy. CISUFLO will help to shift approximately 5 billion euros or 12,000 jobs towards the circular economy sector, with the potential to triple these numbers in the longer term.
#1 By developing solutions for recycling current floor covering waste streams and thus bringing the materials back into open or closed-loop recycling processes. #2 By adapting the composition and manufacturing of current products to enable a higher recycled content. #3 By developing, manufacturing and marketing novel flooring products and services that are fully fit for the circular economy.
B.I.G. is one of the 19 core partners of the project and will focus specifically on vinyl floor coverings through Beauflor.
Reach is an European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals. The position of BIG floorcoverings, division cushion vinyl is clear; for all of our European legal entities and divisions, all measures are in place in order to ensure REACH compliancy. No harmfull substances added, such as formalehyde, lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalant chromium.
M1 is the short version name of the Finnish voluntary emission classification of building materials. M1 is the name of the lowest emission class of that system. Beauflor products comply with M1 requirements.
AgBB (Ausschuss zur gesundheilichen Bewertung von Bauprodukten) is a committee for health-related evaluation of building products. Beauflor's vinyl products satisfy the stringent emission criteria as stipulated by the renowned DiBt Institute in Berlin.
ERFMI (European Resilient Flooring Manufacturer Institute) has prepared EU with Life Cycle Assessment of a broad range of flooring types and specifications. From this study, a series of Life Cycle Analysis data sheets have been produced, called EPD's (Environment Product Declaration). Beauflor is an active member of ERFMI.
All our Beauflor products carry the green A+ label, the highest accolade awarded by the French authorities.
VinylPlus® is the voluntary commitment to sustainable development of the European PVC industry, working to improve the sustainability performance of PVC. PVC can be recycled multiple times, and VinylPlus® works to do so just this! Beauflor is an active member of VinylPlus®.
A FDES (Fiches de Données Environnementales et Sanitaires) is a standardised document that shows the result of a product's life cycle analysis as well as health information, used to calculate the environmental and health performance of an eco-design building. All our ranges are covered by an FDES, which enables our consumers to assess the environmental impact of our products and to our engineers, to set eco-design objectives according to objective criteria.
ISO14001 certification means that the industrial site complies with all the environmental standards, measures all environmental impacts and is committed to continuously improve its environmental performance. Beauflor's Slovenian plant is ISO14001 certified.
The most widely used standard for quality control worldwide. The goal of quality management system is to keep the organization focused on continuous improvement in order to increase customer satisfaction. Beauflor industrial sites are ISO9001 certified.
LEEDtm (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognised green building certification system developed by the US Green Building Council. Beauflor products comply with this protocol. Beauflor also contributes to LEED certification by offering low emission products (Floorcore certified products).