Restaurant Development & Design

September-October 2017

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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3 4 • S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T • S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 THE SKINNY ON SUSTAINABLE DESIGN What's your back- ground with sustainability? Rochelle Routman: I joined Metroflor Corporation in July 2016, and I've been involved with sustainability work for sev- eral decades in different industries. I was drawn to this job opportunity to spread my wings. There is a vacuum and a lack of leadership in product transparency within the resilient flooring industry. It's time to nurture a creative and disruptive climate. How has the focus on sustainability shifted over the years? RR: I've seen an evolution in what people are concerned about. This start- ed in the 80's with companies that were focused on reducing the environmental impact during manufacturing by primarily reducing energy and water usage. After entering the building product industry five years ago, I was surprised that this seemingly elementary view of sustain- ability was all that was being discussed. What I saw happening was that architects and designers were inter- ested in products that minimize carbon footprints, but that was an expectation. Health and transparency were a bigger conversation. People want to know how a product impacts them in all parts of our lives and how they want that information. This was a new idea, not a fad, but needed to be embraced by the building products industry. How has transparency in sustainability impacted the design industry? RR: When I started speaking about it at conferences, it truly was disruptive because, up to that point, companies weren't open about sharing their prod- uct information. I was able to bring the transparency concept into the carpet industry, and it was forever changed. Things like Declare Labels, which were developed by the International Living Future Institute, were coming to the forefront. Yet, resilient flooring compa- nies were not looking into this until we brought it to light at Metroflor. Talk about Declare Labels and Health Product Declarations in relation to sustainability. RR: I started out on a journey here over the last year. We already issued Declare Labels for our entire commercial line of resilient flooring products called Aspecta. We were certainly one of the first resilient companies to issue these labels. We also have Health Product Declarations (HPD) on these products, as well. These HPDs were developed by the Health Product Declaration Col- laborative, which came together several years ago to address the rising tide of concern by architects and designers about building products and how they impact occupants. This breaks products down by ingredients, and the associ- ated health impact of ingredients are shown within an HPD. That is unique to this industry and will create healthier products in the marketplace. At NeoCon, we introduced our Aspecta Ten product line, a rigid core product that is lightweight. We are the first company globally to have a Declare Label on a rigid core product. This type of flooring is innovative and picking up in popularity, because it's 100% waterproof and easier to install. It has created quite a stir in the industry, and with it, we have found ourselves ahead of the curve. Q&A with Rochelle Routman, Chief Sustainability Officer, Metroflor Corp. The new Aspecta One Ornamental LVT collection's three overlay motifs – Damask, Masquer- ade, and Malta – can be layered randomly on select Aspecta One plank and tile designs. Metroflor has issued Declare Labels for its entire Aspecta commercial line of resilient flooring products.

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