In an on-going effort to reach significant sustainability milestones, we are proud to announce that Belgotex Floors has received the respected green tag eco-label certification. This makes us the first South African flooring manufacturer to earn the prestigious award.
Being awarded an internationally recognised “level a” certification, called Greenrate™ gives our products’ ability to achieve 100% of the available credit points across all green building council rating tools . We are making our mark across the world-renowned six sustainability criterias that indicate a product’s relative performance in achieving a complete eco-friendly status. The greentag certification, in it’s esteemed nature, solidifies Belgotex Flooring as a world contributor of environment-friendly products.
“Our aim with this greentag certification is to enhance the credibility of eco-product offerings and change the perceptions of the product category,” says Kevin Walsh, chief operations officer at Belgotex Floors. The challenge for the flooring industry is to shift traditional operating paradigms to new eco-innovative sustainable ones,” explains Walsh.
Belgotex Floors are constantly pushing the limits for operational efficiency and seeking out ecologically sustainable manufacturing methods and developing eco-friendly products.
Belgotex Floors were subjected to greentag’s robust and rigorous assessment process, achieving maximum compliance against their sustainability criteria. these include health and eco-toxicity, life-cycle analysis (material extraction, durability, end of life), product emissions (for green house gases), as well as social responsibility.
"This stringent assessment process [for greentag certification] has equipped us to develop holistically and underscore sustainability across our value chain,” he continued.
“Our passion drives us to develop multi-dimensional long term operational plans aligned with our deeply held sustainability beliefs, which in turn has lead to great strides in our green journey,” concluded walsh.
Belgotex Floors awarded 6 stars in SA’s first custom Green Star SA
The outstanding 6 Star certification recognises “World Leadership” at our Pietermaritzburg-based factory for our sustainability practices in all aspects of our plant and carpet manufacturing operations.
The Green Star SA - Existing Building Performance (EBP) rating tool - is the foremost programme focusing on whole building operational performance over 12 months measured against eight key criteria for human and environmental health. For the first time ever, this EBP tool was customised to cater for the certification of an industrial facility in order to evaluate ourBelgotex Floors factory. It was adapted by expert green building consultants Ecocentric, who together with the our comprehensive historic operational data and dedicated on- site sustainability team accelerated the process and enabled us to achieve their certification in just 8 months.
We, at Belgotex Floors, achieved the 6 Green Star SA certification for implementing outstanding practical and measurable strategic solutions in the following areas:
Management: Building management, green cleaning performance, on-going monitoring and metering and learning resources.
Indoor Environment Quality: Indoor air quality, lighting comfort, thermal comfort, occupant survey, acoustic comfort and daylight views.
Energy: Energy consumption, peak electricity demand.
Water: Potable water management.
Transport: Alternative transportation.
Materials: Procurement and purchasing, solid waste management.
Land Use and Ecology: Hardscape, landscape and pest management.
Emissions: Refrigerants, legionella prevention and storm water.
Extra credits were earned for innovations which saw us adopt several new eco-innovative production processes and product development strategies. Innovative raw material input strategies were implemented to reduce energy and raw material consumption and minimise waste, and have allowed us to develop products with higher recycled content.
The adoption of a dry-manufacturing process and complete switch in production and product development to solution-dyed ranges resulted in 100% reduction in water consumption, as well as reductions in chemical and energy inputs. Replacing wet, space-dyed processes and products with solution-dyed ranges not only reduced water consumption and chemical waste output, but also improved the stain-proof characteristics of our carpets, offering superior colourfastness and fade resistance to its customers.
Waste Reduction & Recycling
The acquisition of a R5-million recycling machine enables us to recycle waste fibre and yarn back into production, effectively reducing our waste rates from our carpet production processes to close to zero. It also offers up to 20% energy savings, resulting in lower production costs and reduced CO2 emissions.
The raw materials for several eco-products are derived from post-industrial and post-consumer waste, such as our Green Underlay and the new EOSBac backing system, as well as various carpet ranges. Our bestselling Berber Point 920 commercial carpet and other needle-punch carpet products are made with a blend of polypropylene and recycled Eco Fibre or Eco Yarn. This Eco Fibre is manufactured using post production waste, which is re-pelletised (utilising the cutting edge Erema recycling machinery). The input of this recycled content in our production process considerably lowers the embodied energy associated with virgin raw material use.
Numerous energy optimisation initiatives were implemented to reduce non-renewable energy consumption. These include the installation of a R17-million photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant, energy-efficient LED lights and automatic motion sensors and extensive plant upgrades to more energy-efficient equipment.
At Belgotex Floors, we also operate an extensive education and training programme that seeks to identify and develop talent, especially women, in the production and management of our products.
“Our main goal is to operate a sustainable factory wherever economically and environmentally feasible,” explains Kevin Walsh, our chief operations officer (COO) at Belgotex Floors.
“For us, it makes good business sense. It improves operational efficiencies, product development and social upliftment and positions us as industry leaders.”
“GBCSA congratulates Belgotex on their 6 Star rating and on embracing green building practices, leading the way in creating more sustainable industrial facilities in the country, and for having this independently verified through the country’s leading authority on green buildings,” says Manfred Braune, chief technical officer of the GBCSA. “It is encouraging to see companies of this stature ensuring that their environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives are at the forefront of their business practices. Going forward, we look forward to seeing more green transformation in the industrial and manufacturing sector in South Africa.”