Now, a Carpet That Could Reduce Environmental Footprint

By Lisa Iannucci, Green Building CorrespondentLos Angeles–When environmentally conscious property managers or owners choose carpets over other flooring options in lobbies or common areas, they need to not only consider what the carpets are made of, but also how they are made. A Los Angeles-based commercial carpet manufacturer, Bentley Prince Street, has created a product that can help. Bentley’s new carpet tile backing line uses next-generation thermoplastic technology, which reduces the two-step operation to one, and eliminates the need for any latex and polycarbite laminate. The technology has been in development for three years and has cost $5.2 million. The company claims that this new technology will dramatically decrease the carpet’s overall weight, which in turn will reduce its environmental footprint by cutting down on energy use, decreasing raw material usage, and increasing efficiencies in its carpet tile manufacturing processes. It is also expected to improve the company’s ability to keep reclaimed and waste carpet in the technical loop and increase its use of recycled content materials.“We’re taking a whole-systems approach to improving both our products and our processes to eliminate our potential impact on the environment,” says Anthony Minite, president of Bentley Prince Street. “Recycled products are important, but they’re only one piece in a very large puzzle to get to a fully sustainable operation. Equally important is how products are made – the type and amount of energy and materials used as well as the processes behind them.  We know this investment not only makes sense from a business perspective, but also supports our responsibility to be more sustainable in every aspect of our operations.”Bentley Prince Street will also store the new carpet tile line at its headquarters in Los Angeles, eliminating the need for transportation outside the state and reducing shipping costs and related environmental impacts at this stage.