IVC Group commits to sustainability in EU-funded CIRCULAR FLOORING project
IVC Group is one of the proud ‘linked third parties’ of the EU’s CIRCULAR FLOORING project. In teaming up with other European partners, our goal is to contribute to a more sustainable world by increasing our recycling efforts even more and sharing our expertise. From our own post-industrial recycling to green energy and transportation, we take sustainability seriously – because at IVC, we go beyond flooring!
Recycling and IVC Group: a long-standing track record
"At IVC, we’ve incorporated recycling in our company DNA”, Joost Demuynck, technical director at IVC Group, explains. “So of course, when we were asked to be a partner in the CIRCULAR FLOORING project, we signed up immediately. Today, we already have the largest post-industrial waste recycling unit in the flooring industry, where we process over 120,000 tonnes of material each year. What’s more, we’re already able to reclaim up to 20,000 tonnes of safe PVC material and use it in the backing of our LVT flooring solutions. Did you know that all our LVT products contain up to 50% recycled material?”
“Today, IVC has the largest recycling unit in the flooring industry and has already reclaimed up to 20,000 tonnes of safe PVC materials to use in the backing of our LVT floors.”
Joost Demuynck, technical director at IVC Group
“With the introduction of the CIRCULAR FLOORING project, we’re eager to research innovative possibilities for recycling post-consumer waste. In this way, we aim to continue to contribute even more to a sustainable future for our planet by reducing natural resource impact.”
What is CIRCULAR FLOORING?
CIRCULAR FLOORING is a new EU project that aims to sustainably recycle end-of-life resilient PVC floors which contain potentially harmful “legacy plasticisers”. To meet this closed loop approach, the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV developed the innovative CreaSolv® plastics recycling process. The objective? To gently recycle all end-of-life PVC floors by dissolving and removing additional substances until only high-quality PVC is left, which is then processed into granules and reused in new flooring solutions.
CIRCULAR FLOORING started at the beginning of June 2019, and until May 2023, it will receive about €5.4 million in EU funding from Horizon 2020, the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The project will be implemented by 11 companies and research institutes from five European countries, including IVC, and is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute IVV in Freising, Germany.
Sustainability at IVC Group
But IVC’s sustainability story doesn’t stop at recycling. “We make a conscious effort to include sustainability in all our processes”, Joost continues. “From product design and transportation to energy, we take the time to evaluate the impact of our operations and set a new standard for ourselves as well as the industry as a whole.”
Here’s three ways IVC Group is smart about sustainability
- Scheldt water project
Producing vinyl floors generates a lot of heat. To cool down our production infrastructure, we use water from the nearby Scheldt river. This way, we gain a 30% increase in energy efficiency and can phase out 80% of our mechanical cooling system, minimising our carbon footprint.
- Powered by nature
With both a 454 solar panel park in Dalton, Georgia and three windmills at the Avelgem site in Belgium, IVC has invested heavily in green energy. In fact, the windmills alone produce enough power to account for 40% of the annual energy consumption of the nearby IVC production facilities. Together with our Scheldt Water project, this equals a CO² reduction of 5827 tonnes per year!
- Green transport
We export 90% of our products via water. Inland waterways are an essential part of our sustainable transport system: relying on them is climate-friendly, quiet, safe and a great solution to traffic jams.