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Soapbox: When will we learn to look after what we have?
Howard O' Brien, Managing Director of Traffik UK, explains why we should all be paying more attention to the 'Circling Longer' concept and take a common sense approach to the installation and maintenance of commercial flooring.
The space between action and words on Corporate Social Responsibility commitments can be vast. For instance, 450,000 tonnes of carpet waste per annum in the UK alone takes up a lot of space - landfill space which was once our countryside. And will continue to take up that space year on year for millennia.
Recycling schemes are only scratching at the surface and will take time before they make a real difference and, as yet, corporate embarrassment has not made more organisations deliver on their lofty green promises. So, until the integrity and technology catches up with the real world the only solution is to look after what you already have for longer.
Ellen MacArthur's Trust is currently promoting their 'Circling Longer' concept - basically, take care of what you have got and build it better in the first place. Common sense really and not difficult to achieve...
For example, Traffik has recently restored 17 year old carpets throughout one of the UK's leading distribution company's headquarters, as part of a large refurbishment programme for the whole building. Just under 4000 square metres of good quality, but heavily trafficked, unmaintained carpet was fully restored as the finishing touch to the redesign and refurbishment of the building.
The result? Over £80,000.00 saved on replacement carpets with no disruption to the company's working schedule as the carpets were restored using dry extraction systems during evenings and a weekend. However, most importantly no waste and landfill and no reason, (now that the company has implemented a regular dry carpet maintenance schedule), that the carpets cannot last another 17 years.
So - unless a decade or so ago some eye wateringly expensive design team chose a large swirling bright green and orange design carpet to match the company logo, or, looking for short term cost savings, specified some wafer thin, 20 fibre to the square inch covering from a factory in the Far East - that has been polluting the ground water for the local community ever since, to the extent that clean water must be shipped in for drinking and cooking. THEN YOU can restore what you have and keep it 'Circling', providing an attractive, comfortable and healthy surface to walk on, for another decade or two.
The natural outcome of all this is that carpet manufacturers are now beginning to look at producing high specification, long lasting and completely recyclable product that is easy to clean and maintain - and in a world of shrinking resource it is the only sensible route to take.
Traffik has been maintaining floors of all types for over 20 years for high street chains, prestige offices and the healthcare & leisure sectors, it has taken all that time for the world to catch up with our service offering... Maybe you know of a floor on life support that needs saving?
24th October 2013