Tarkett Expands Sustainability, Design Teams
Tarkett has expanded its sustainability team in support of the company’s ongoing commitment to environmentally responsible products and operations.
The additions include Rachel Palopoli, director of circular economy, and Rachel Berkin, sustainability product manager.
“We need to make sure we are leading with the end in mind, designing products that can be recycled at the end of their lives so that we protect and preserve our planet for future generations,” says Palopoli. “One of my goals is to collaborate across all divisions to ensure we are leading with sustainability on all fronts.”
As director of circular economy, Palopoli oversees the Tarkett take-back program, ReStart, which has collected more than 112,000 tons of vinyl, linoleum and carpet globally since 2010. With more than 20 years of recycling experience, Palopoli is tasked with evaluating and establishing take-back pathways for each product type, as well as assessing internal waste streams.
While Palopoli’s focus is on products’ end-life, Berkin’s role is to help uphold the rigorous sustainability standards Tarkett has set throughout product conception. This includes facilitating the implementation of healthy materials, product certifications and related processes, working with both internal and external partners.
“Engaging with our sales team and clients is an imperative part of the process to ensure we are exceeding the industry’s sustainability expectations,” says Berkin. “I am proud to work with a company that is deeply committed to corporate sustainability, transparency and setting strong sustainability targets.”
Tarkett has long been a model of sustainable practices within the flooring industry, having introduced the first full-scale flooring recycling program in 1994, and having removed all ortho-phthalates from its products while others were still debating phthalate safety.
In September 2022, Tarkett announced its Climate Roadmap for 2030, which includes a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent across its entire value chain by 2030, in full alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement objective to limit global warming to 1.5 C. To provide full visibility into these efforts, Tarkett has been evaluated and assessed by the independent organization Science Based Targets to confirm its reduction targets, which includes emissions from its own activities and its purchased energy, as well as those arising from the rest of its value chain, from suppliers to end customers.
Over the last decade, Tarkett has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 38 per cent through a combination of renewable electricity, closed-loop water systems and the responsible sourcing of raw materials, and is now accelerating that progress under the 2030 Climate Roadmap. The company recently achieved an A- score by CDP, representing the second highest level of maturity a company can reach at the world’s leading climate performance platform.
In addition to sustainability, Tarkett has also taken recent steps to further elevate design at the forefront of product development. Since September, Omoleye Simmons has led these efforts as vice-president of design for the company’s commercial business, a newly created role to demonstrate Tarkett’s commitment to leading the industry in on-trend flooring solutions for any space.
In February, Simmons welcomed the addition of Rachelle Roberts as director of design for soft surface. In her role, Roberts is responsible for directing the design development of impactful soft surface products. Along with several key design initiatives, Roberts collaborates with the entire product design team to create coordinated flooring solutions for all market segments, focusing heavily on education, workplace and senior living environments.