From: ENN
Published August 5, 2005 12:00 AM

Interface's Renewable Energy Purchases Fund Wind Farms And Solar Energy

ATLANTA — For 10 years, Interface, Inc. and its subsidiaries have been engaged in initiatives designed to lighten their company’s environmental footprint, including investments in renewable energy certificates (RECs) that support high quality projects such as the development of renewable energy resources in the Northwest and Plains states. Interface Fabrics today announced its contributions to a green power initiative that will fund new solar projects in the State of Maine, while Interface Flooring Systems announces they have achieved 100 percent renewable electricity for the production of all products in Troup County, Ga.


“Interface has raised the bar within the commercial interiors industry with renewable energy purchases, and it is important to note that we have done so with the bigger picture in mind,”¯ said Mike Bertolucci, Ph.D., senior vice president, Interface, Inc. “We’ve worked to ensure that all of our investments in renewable energy bring growth to the green power marketplace. As a charter member of the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Green Power Market Development Group and the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership, we have an obligation to help shape the future for green energy markets in the U.S.”¯


A summary of green power purchases by Interface business units includes:


Interface Fabrics
In 2003, Interface Fabrics signed a five-year contract with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) to purchase 12,500 MWh of Green-e certified RECs (2,500 MWh/yr) from three wind farms in the U.S. This purchase offsets the greenhouse gas environmental impacts of the electricity needed to produce select patterns of TerratexĀ® brand fabrics. A unique component of that agreement involved the company’s investment of an additional 50Ā¢ per MWh into the development of new renewable energy resources in Maine, where most of the Terratex products are manufactured. Interface Fabrics’ monetary contribution is matched by an equal investment from BEF, resulting in the accumulation of $12,500 designated to provide rebates for residential and commercial energy customers in Maine who choose to install solar arrays on their homes and offices. This supplemental rebate program is being administered on behalf of Interface Fabrics and BEF by the Maine Energy Investment Corporation in Brunswick, Maine.


“The Green-e certified purchase by Interface Fabrics has helped grow sales of select Terratex patterns,”¯ said Paul Bennotti, director of marketing strategy for Interface Fabrics. “Our customers appreciate the value of products made with renewable energy and it is our intention to broaden the program scope to include even more Green-e certified Terratex pattern offerings. We believe this will result in more customer participation in the program that will directly translate into increased growth for the green energy reinvestment fund in Maine.”¯


In addition to the renewable energy purchased through RECs, the Guilford, Maine facility also uses waste wood chips to supply 60 percent of its total energy needs, equating to about 20 percent of the total energy needs for all of Interface Fabrics’ New England operations. In 2004, Interface Fabrics used 9,750 tons of waste wood chips in their manufacturing process, generating an equivalent of 85 trillion BTUs. This equates to the energy derived from burning 600,000 gallons of #2 fuel oil.


Interface Flooring Systems
Interface Flooring Systems has purchased 30,000 MWh of Green-e certified RECs from wind farms in Kansas and Minnesota and a biomass project in Kentucky, enabling the company to offset 100 percent of the electricity needed to produce all modular carpet products made in Troup County, Georgia. Interface Flooring Systems’ renewable energy purchases equate to the avoidance of 18,938 metric tons of Co2 emissions, the same as taking 3,647 cars off the road for a year.


“Our goal to become sustainable exceeds the technology available to us today,”¯ explained John Wells, president of Interface Flooring Systems. “But what we can do is invest in the growth of the green energy market, so that we support the development of clean energy sources all over the country.”¯


Bentley Prince Street
Bentley Prince Street in City of Industry, CA achieved 100 percent renewable electricity in 2004, through a combination of Green-e certified RECs, green power purchases from the grid and on-site power generation from its photovoltaic array. The company has committed to purchasing 25,751 MWh of Green-e certified RECS between 2004 and 2007, equivalent to 16,256 metric tons of CO2 avoided, or 9,626 tons of coal not burned.


“We’re very excited to be able to tie our renewable energy purchases directly to our strong sales growth this year,”¯ said Anthony Minite, president of Bentley Prince Street. “It is our goal to have a continued positive impact on the green power marketplace.”¯


Interface, Inc. is a recognized leader in renewable energy applications, having won a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2004, awarded by the U.S. EPA, the U.S. DOE and the Center for Resource Solutions. In addition to Interface’s participation in WRI’s Green Power Market Development Group, all three North American business units are members of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership, and Interface was also honored in 2003 with the Lone Star Award for Green Energy from the Southeast Green Power Network.


Atlanta-based Interface, Inc. (NASDAQ: IFSIA) manufactures environmentally-responsible floorcoverings and other textiles in the U.S., Asia-Pacific and Europe through subsidiaries and divisions such as Bentley Prince Street, Interface Fabrics, Interface Flooring Systems, InterfaceFLOR and the Prince Street House & Home Collectionā„¢. The company is committed to giving the marketplace a wide range of choices for specifying Earth-friendly and third party certified Environmentally Preferable Products, with the industry’s first climate neutral carpet, Cool Carpetā„¢, as well as the only carpet product to be designed using biomimicry, the i2ā„¢ collection from Interface Flooring Systems. The company also offers a residential carpet product made by InterfaceFLOR with facecloth fibers produced from a rapidly-renewable, corn-based polymer.


Source: CSRwire, Interface, Inc.


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