Bedrock Tiles, established in the summer of 2011 by Pete Brown, author of A Book About Tiles, recently achieved a status of becoming the first company in the United Kingdom tile industry to be certified as carbon neutral. With a corporate background, Brown has developed Bedrock Tiles into an industry leading tile supplier of both commercial and residential projects. Brown spoke about several reasons why he pushed to have his company go through the certification process, as well as the steps required to complete it and the benefits Bedrock Tiles can now offer to its customers.

CSTD: What were some reasons that led Bedrock Tiles to start the certification process?

PB: As a leader, I’ve always had a vested interest in sustainable practices and promoting them through the A&D community. We initially contacted the auditing company to investigate how to make a produced product carbon offset in the cases where there are no recycled content declarations available for our tile ranges. We can quantify that about 70% of our tiles range is produced with an EPD certificate. This exercise was to bring up the remaining 30% so we have a fully sustainable offer for our architects and designers. 

CSTD: Explain the steps needed to become certified.

PB: It’s about collating all the data for three scopes relating to business. Scope one measures the direct emissions, such as fuel/gas, used in manufacturing. Scope two monitors the energy emissions within the organization, such as electricity. Scope three, for us, is the workload. It logs all of the deliveries, business travel, staff commutes and other small emissions, such as water consumption. Once these are collated, they are audited and a report is issued that states the amount of tCO2e the business omits. Bedrock Tiles’ emission level is 52.17 tCO2e of carbon.  

CSTD: What are some benefits of being certified as a carbon neutral business?

PB: Apart from getting that warm fuzzy feeling that you’re doing something remarkable for society and the environment, you are to be seen as a leader. When you are carbon neutral, you’ll find that there is a fresh client pool awaiting you that is driven in sustainable practices. Therefore, if you do become certified, you will inevitably increase your business. 

CSTD: What are some points you would like to share with the A&D community about the company’s carbon neutral tiles.

PB: The tiles themselves contain recycled content. The production method is done with green technologies and reporting, so if you were to consult with Bedrock, we would be able to guide you onto the type of tile that achieves the certification you’re working towards, such as BRE, SKA or LEED. 

CSTD: Why should architects/designers opt for carbon neutral tiles over others?

PB: Because the built environment accounts for 38% of global emissions. If we design sustainably from the outset, then it’ll be a lot easier to grow as a nation in say, 40 years time. as we’ll have the least inefficient buildings. The projects we’re considering now as parts of urban masterplans are indeed proposals for the next 20 to 70 years of use, which means that the buildings we design now are going to be affected by net-zero targets on their performance. It is now that sustainable design is critical. Therefore, we’re trying to ensure by the end of 2022 that all of our tile ranges are fully sustainable -- opposed to the 70% we are currently at. 

CSTD: Is there anything else you would like to share about Bedrock Tiles’ carbon neutral tiles or the process of becoming certified?

PB: We’re significantly proud to be the first tiling company to be certified at a corporate level (even though we’re not corporate!), so while we normally relish being unique and ahead of the game, this is a subject area that I really encourage everyone to get on board with. We’ve achieved our goal by being the industry leaders on matters of sustainability. We’re here to support others who are now starting their journey to carbon neutrality.