The answer to the question posed will yield different answers depending on whom you ask it, when you ask it and, to some degree where you ask it.
For instance, ask a designer or specifier working on a high-profile commercial project—be it corporate, educational, government—and, invariably, they would put it high on the list. But ask these same people when they are out shopping for themselves and the importance level drops. And even then the level to which it drops depends on where you are in the country—California vs. pick a state.
In a sense it proves the old adage about showing one face in public and another in your personal life. That is, going green in the commercial world is good for the corporate image—it shows the company cares about the environment and communities in which it does business, and it is good for the government to show it cares about the health and well-being of its citizens. But once a person comes home from work, then it becomes about their own homes, their own lifestyles, their own budgets, etc.
Here’s the thing, though, just prior to the economic collapse the average consumer was starting to purchase more green items. Then the bottom fell out and now it’s all about value. Yes, style is still the No. 1 selling point for the vast majority of people, but the aspect of tying it in with performance has risen tremendously.
The point is, consumers were willing to purchase an eco friendly floor when times were good, so you can pretty much bet as the economy continues to pick up this urge to “do the right thing” will once again gain priority.
Just look at how many industries are promoting green products. Why? They know deep down most consumers, especially those with children and grandkids want to do what is good for their future. They also know this is a topic of higher importance to the younger generation, the millennials—your future customers.
The flooring industry is well aware of this as manufacturers in every sector are “cleaning” up their operations and products—from utilizing alternative energy sources to recycling initiatives and more, as they are aware this is the direction things will be moving in the years to come, especially as the economy improves.
And if you don’t think the later is the case then you haven’t been paying attention as the flooring industry is gearing itself up for better times. This year alone manufacturers have announced approximately $1 billion worth of investments within the U.S.—in both soft and hard surface—to meet growing and anticipated demand. And, they are mostly doing it in an environmentally conscious manner.
This issue of Floor Trendsfeatures articles representing the major flooring categories with each one explaining the many reasons that sector is already green and getting greener.
We encourage you to share these stories with your salespeople and representatives, because while the Internet is a great source of information, it also includes a ton of misinformation and urban legends. These stories were designed to help dispel many of the myths out there and allow your staff to properly help a young mother/designer holding her child and asking about a product’s impact on her home or office.