U.S. flooring specialist Interface is one of the world’s best-known examples of a company that applies the lessons of nature to its operations and thus puts biomimicry into practice as a business case.

The term biomimicry is not new. As early as 1997 he appeared in the book ‘Biomimicry, innovation inspired by nature‘ by Janine Benyus. There are plenty of tried and tested ideas in the natural world that the business world can apply, but still very few companies start working with biomimicry, and only recently and sparingly. Central to biomimicry are: ‘ethos‘, ‘(re)connect‘ and ‘emulate‘.

Ethos has to do with a sense of responsibility, (re)connect emphasizes the fact that humans and nature are intertwined and emulate means that applying biomimicry goes beyond copying biological phenomena. It requires a proactive approach with the underlying vision that mankind fits into life on earth in a sustainable way. With companies like Interface applying the principles of biomimicry, it sounds like it’s important for humanity to change our mindset.

That we need to go from ego to eco. That we will not continue to dominate as mankind, but that we see that we are part of biodiversity and that we have a lot to do and to let. If you don’t learn from nature in the right way and with the right intention, you will continue to deplete the earth. Years ago Interface started with ‘Mission Zero‘ and now continues with a follow-up mission: ‘Climate Take Back‘. With this follow-on mission, Interface aims to contribute to the reversal of global warming.

By 2040, the company aims to be fully climate-positive. This means that by that time the company avoids and removes more carbon dioxide from the air than it brings in through its activities. In this way, the company will become carbon negative or therefore climate positive. The company wants to achieve that goal from different angles. For example, by using old carpet tiles, fishing nets and plants as raw materials for new carpet tiles. By wondering how nature glues things, Interface was also able to implement a glue-free installation system for carpet tiles.

Initially Interface ended up with the gecko. This lizard, with its specially shaped legs, is able to hold on well to all kinds of surfaces. For example, it can easily climb upside down on glass. Imitating the gecko technique turned out to be costly and complicated. But by also looking at gravity, Interface’s research department was able to develop a technique for attaching carpet tiles to each other rather than to the ground.

The combined weight keeps the carpet in place. This method reduces the ecological impact by 90 percent compared to the gluing method. Various carpet tile manufacturers have already followed suit.

More info:  www.interface.com