HMTX Industries has evolved to include a new innovative direction for the flooring industry, and has now fully merged quality and sustainability by creating two new leadership positions, chief sustainability and quality officer and vice president of product and customer support. 

Since Rochelle Routman came on board in 2016 as chief sustainability officer, she has led a team that oversees sustainability and transparency to help with the evolution of products in terms of innovation, testing, performance, and customer support. Over the past year, the team has expanded its focus on quality, and HMTX’s change in focus has been formalized with Routman’s new title, chief sustainability and quality officer. 

“My goals in this new position are for HMTX Industries to completely intertwine sustainability with quality so that we are more productive and knowledgeable as a team, are more efficient at meeting the needs of the customer, and of course, create the most sustainable and high quality products in the entire flooring industry,” said Routman. “Upon joining the company in 2016, I realized the need to merge both subjects, and in doing so, have been developing the team that I lead, The Product Authority Team, to become experts in both areas. Everyone on the team has responsibilities in both quality and sustainability, and the expectation is that as a team, we will continue to develop our expertise in both areas. I am extremely fortunate to work for Harlan Stone, CEO of HMTX Industries, who is open to such a progressive idea and in fact was the one who had the idea for my new title. Most sustainability professionals focus on just sustainability and likewise - quality professionals normally focus just on quality–but if we can make use of the resources and organizational structure already in place for both, we can get twice as much done, twice as fast.” 

According to Routman, quality and sustainability have always been interwoven in that both quality and sustainability are values based. Routman says both disciplines are concerned about transparency. And from a quality perspective, transparency, especially related to waste and product defects, is the first step to improved products and customer satisfaction. “A large part of transparency is accomplished through communication processes and data gathering. In terms of sustainability, transparency related to product chemistry and social equity throughout the supply chain is key to improved products and increased customer satisfaction.”

To support the new direction, HMTX Industries has also promoted David Altman to the newly-created position of vice president of product and customer support. This new role will allow Altman to focus on creating an efficient flow of information, improving processes with a strong emphasis on delivering optimal quality, performance and great customer satisfaction through economically-sound processes that minimize negative environmental impacts. Altman will also lead the product innovation team of the sustainability council, provide strategic direction, leadership, development and management of resources, information and effective communications from end use to factory and back out to the front end of our business. The organization changes also allowed Jay Zurn to be promoted to product support manager where he will continue a leadership role handling the day to day activities and team growth. 

“I am very humbled and proud to be awarded this leadership opportunity. The development of the core team over the past few years has been very successful and extremely rewarding. We have strategically developed in-house expertise and all of the pieces have come together nicely. This is the final piece of the puzzle that will allow us to achieve our global vision of ‘best in class’ quality and sustainable products,” said Altman. “My goal now is to create cross functional collaboration to achieve the sustainability, transparency, innovation and quality initiatives between all HMTX towers and factories. This includes developing and driving an integrated sustainable, quality and customer support strategy that meet the needs of the customer.” 

Many have been speculating on the next steps in the sustainability movement, and HMTX Industries makes its intentions clear that they plan to expand their efforts on this front with these new changes. 

“In order for sustainability programs to be most effective, you need to have a strong dialogue between sustainability and quality,” said Routman. “The decades of investment in resources and organizational structure and processes that have been established for quality programs can be utilized to further sustainability. In fact, sustainability professionals can and are using some basic tools developed by their quality organizations, such as robust data gathering and measurement. The goal of all building manufacturers should be to make products that have a positive impact on the environment and the people that are involved in making them and using them. You need both quality and sustainability to accomplish this.” 

HTMX Industries will be initiating several climate projects, including a greenhouse gas inventory of its operations and also a study on embodied carbon of our products. The company is also heavily invested in JUST (ILFI’s transparency program for social justice), and recently produced a video showing the impressions the JUST label has had on many of the workers at Elegant Home Tech, which achieved the first JUST label in China. 

HMTX Industries is also pursuing a JUST 2.0 label for the entire global enterprise. This label will encompass the complete family of companies under the HMTX umbrella and will be completed in time for the Living Future UnConference 2020. 

Further reinforcing HMTX’s commitment to transparency, the company is also poised to become one of the first manufacturer Member-Owners of mM L3C. mM L3C is owned and operated by select participants in the mindful MATERIALS Collaborative, an inclusive network of building industry professionals and companies that share a common vision for a thriving building materials ecosystem.

Product-wise, HMTX is involved in continued efforts to provide Living Building Challenge (LBC) red list free options to the marketplace which can be used in LBC projects as well as any project in which customers are interested in LBC compliant flooring. Its upcoming Aspecta Bonterra, which will be the first such option in the Aspecta line of products adds to the Teknoflor Naturescapes HPD sheet, tile and plank products, which are also all LBC red list free. The name Aspecta Bonterra loosely translates to “Good Earth,” which relates to the organic castor oil ingredient in the product.

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