Sustainability remains a major focus of the flooring industry, and Surfaces 2012, set for Jan. 23-26 in Las Vegas, will give manufacturers the perfect venue to debut their latest green technologies and products. I never stop being amazed at the environmentally friendly innovations that companies roll out, and I am sure this year will be no different.

Being green makes sense from a number of standpoints. On the residential side, it makes consumers feel better about their purchases and gives retail salespeople a great story to sell. On the commercial side, it can help architects, specifiers and end-users earn valuable LEED points on their projects. And with the rising cost of materials and petrochemicals, it also makes fiscal sense for manufacturers to take a green approach.

Surfaces will be offering a full slate of seminars on sustainability during the show, through a dedicated Sustainability education track. Topics will cover such issues as designing with natural stone, sustainable building designs & trends, new green floor covering backings, making the choice to go green as a business, how to compete in a green marketplace, and how to market and sell green products.

One of my favorite things about sustainability is that there always seems to be something new to talk about. As we are often told by the companies we interview, sustainability is a journey. It is not something achieved overnight; rather, it is the constant refinement of manufacturing processes, research, technology and industry initiatives that helps bring about the latest and greatest in green.

I am sure we will all have plenty to talk about after Surfaces. Feel free to say hello if you see us at the show. We will be at Booths #S6408 and #B2816. Let us know what green products and technologies you see that can help you grow your business.