Armstrong Flooring's product redesign project, Product Waste Reduction though Circularity Improvement, received a Top Project of the Year Award in the elite Environment + Energy Leader Awards program. The Environment + Energy Leader Awards is a program recognizing excellence in products and services that provide companies with energy and environmental benefits, and in projects implemented by companies that improved environmental or energy management and increased the bottom line.

Armstrong Flooring redesigned the felt-backed vinyl sheet flooring product, which has been manufactured in Stillwater, Oklahoma since 1987. The redesign, which was completed in August 2020, replaced the traditional felt backing with a fiberglass scrim. By changing the backing, the company was able to achieve a key project objective — reduce, if not eliminate, process waste. As part of the project, Armstrong installed a new granulator to recycle sheet flooring scrap. By the end of 2020, the redesign project eliminated approximately 150 tons of sheet flooring process waste being sent to the landfill and improved the plant’s overall annual waste recovery rate.

“Making products more sustainable begins with product design,” said Amy Costello, sustainability manager at Armstrong Flooring. “This project is a perfect example of how the principles of circular economy can reduce environmental impacts both at the point of manufacture and embodied in the product.” 

Comments from Judges:

  • “For Armstrong to make the commitment and take the steps necessary to implement this project I believe they are moving the right direction as a company.”
  • “Years of experience in flooring positions this product to be successful. It is comparable to meet the requirements of the product while improving its sustainability.”
  • “This has now become a circular product. This is a critical advance from an environmental management perspective.”
  • “It is great to see how this company used a simple innovation to fix a very simple problem that had a large impact on the company’s waste stream.”

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