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The price of progressive sustainability is proactive vigilance

January 03rd , 2022 06
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In 2015 and we appear to have finally arrived at a place where climate change deniers have taken up their rightful place among the flat earthists and yeti chasers. With this also dawns the realisation that financial considerations are but one component of the bottom line.

‘Well being’ is no longer just a mantra for hippies and yogies. We are all now accountable for the social and environmental impacts of the products we create, manufacture and supply. Fortunately, high end research, innovation and technology are delivering, at an ever more alarming pace, the tools with which to meet these responsibilities and making the path to meeting these goals far less onerous that what would have been the case as little as five years ago.

What’s even more exciting is the way scientific and manufacturing innovations now cross complex, seemingly unrelated, industries and deliver multiple benefits from interlinked research. For example, processes and production advances originally devised to solve specific issues for medical products have also created opportunities in industries as diverse as children’s toys to modern forms of vinyl flooring.

Trevor Morris, who runs the innovative, Australian owned flooring company, Kenbrock, has been in the business long enough to witness first hand the transition from primary considerations of wear, warranty and colour to green issues pertaining to the environment and recycling continually growing in importance. In the past, it was one of the rare situations where the press media held manufacturing to account. Today sustainability issues are part and parcel of the core criteria for those who design, those who produce, those who specify and those who purchase. Then add those who are simply concerned about what sort of planet we will hand on to our children and especially, the generations after them.

At Kenbrock, the maintenance of quality issues and the minimisation of environmental impacts form part of a quite complex and multi faceted plan which is structured to not only absorb new technical advances but to actively seek out that which shows any relevance to what we offer to the market. Fortunately, our size and structure enable us to move quickly to take advantage of any improvements to existing ranges and any new product developments. As an example, the Kenbrock portfolio of technical requirements encompass a substantial list of ‘ins and outs’ and ‘do’s and don’ts’ which include:

  • manufacturing at ISO9001 and ISO14001 certified facilities
  • certified membership of the PVC Industry Product Stewardship Program
  • steering clear of products that may contain harmful fillers or plasticisers
  • change to products that are free of heavy metals such as lead, barium or cadmium
  • use of only ‘purpose designed’, low VOC LVT adhesive ( Evagrip ) Of particular interest is the Luxury Planks (LVT) Floorworks range which features established brands such as Craftmaster, International and Town and Country plus the Natural Stone tile collection. This range
  • has USA FloorCore certification for low VOC emissions
  • meets stringent EU standards (Directive 2002/72/EC)
  • is fully recyclable
  • contains a minimum of 28% recycled content

The Taiwanese manufacturer of this range has a strict ‘Zero Wastage’ policy, which means they use only their own materials for recycling. This is done to remove the risk of using materials of uncertain origin from outside sources.

Kenbrock is the only LVT supplier in Australia to feature the exciting and innovative Hexamoll™ DINCH™ plasticiser from BASF. Hexamoll™ DINCH™ is a new type of plasticiser that contains neither phthalate or formaldehyde like it’s predecessors. This advancement in technology makes a vast variety of products from flexible medical tubing to food containers, safe for contact with humans and this characteristic is of particular benefit to the production of vinyl planks and tiles, as it delivers not only the critical flexibility required but ensures contact safe and allergy free living and working environments.

Vinyl flooring delivers positively on the Wellbeing scale:

  • flat floor surfaces like vinyl also minimise the survival of dust mites and other allergens which are an issue for those who suffer with respiratory conditions
  • minimises the use of detergents
  • it is time efficient due to less general maintenance
  • a long wear life means infrequent replacement and hence protects your investment.

“The process of maintaining and upgrading sustainable flooring products is an ongoing process” adds Trevor Morris “It’s no good waiting for it to land in your lap. We make a point of working as a team with our suppliers and even their suppliers to ensure that we are at the ‘pointy end’ of new environmental developments in our flooring field.”

“We are working towards Green Star accreditation for most of the product ranges and our association with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) keeps us up-todate with the trends and expectations, and connects us to key bodies and decision makers in the industry.”

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