"This achievement is just the latest step in Florida Tile's ongoing CARES (Creating A Responsible Environmental Strategy) program," said company President Michael Franceschelli. "In early 2011, we contracted with Bureau Veritas which conducted a painstaking assessment of our claims and our processes. In December, we were awarded certification verifying that all of the porcelain product lines manufactured in our Lawrenceburg, KY factory incorporate at least 40% pre-consumer recycled content.
"The certification is not only a great achievement for Florida Tile, but also an industry first," Franceschelli went on to say. "Other U.S. manufacturers have successfully achieved high recycled content with certain colors or among some series, but not across the board in porcelain -- and definitely not to this extent."
According to Franceschelli, Florida Tile has been working at it for a long time, consistently incorporating increasing amounts of recycled content into its domestically produced tiles. "Starting in 2007 with a major upgrade of our facility in Lawrenceburg, we created a system allowing us to recycle and re-use the byproducts of our manufacturing process, including water used in production, clay, unfired tile, dust and unfired ceramic tile," he explained. "We built on that initiative by sourcing raw materials close to the manufacturing facility, including some with high levels of post-industrial recycled content. Then last year, we went on line with a proprietary system which allowed us to regrind fired porcelain and to reintroduce it into the body of new tile.
"We knew all along that our CARES initiative is the right thing to do, but with green washing so prevalent in every industry, including our flooring and interior coverings marketplaces, Florida Tile felt the need to prove its claims via independent validation for the sake of the industry and our own credibility, Franceschelli continued. "Now our customers, whether they are designers, architects, builders or the end customer, will have the satisfaction of knowing that their U.S.-made product not only meets current Greenguard guidelines, but in fact, leads all brands with an across-the-board recycled content."