Confindustria Ceramica represents a long list of manufacturers whose LEED-compliant tile collections are made using recycled content. Ceramic Tiles of Italy has sponsored numerous educational seminars around the country on energy-saving systems and is now launching two new initiatives including an ad campaign promoting the sustainability of tile as well as the release of its second edition of S-tiles.
Sustainable Properties of Ceramic Tile
Generally speaking, ceramic tiles are inherently sustainable products. Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are made of fired clay, which is a renewable resource available in abundant supply around the world. Its durability ensures that it will last the test of time – in fact, many porcelain tiles are engineered to last the life of the building that they are installed in – that nearly guarantees they will not end up in a landfill.
Italian Sustainability Efforts
Europeans are governed by some of the strictest environmental laws and regulations in the world.
Each Italian tile manufacturer shares in the responsibility to safeguard the resources of the region in which it operates, and deems the management of environmental issues to be one of the company’s top priorities. By participating in the European Union’s Environmental Management Program (EMAS) and ISO 14001/14002 environmental guidelines, the manufacturers evaluate all areas of pollution and energy consumption and set targets for improvement. These programs are enforced in collaboration with Public Authorities who perform on-site inspections and interventions.
Recognizing these sustainability efforts, many Italian tile manufacturers have received certifications such as the Eco-Label (the European Union label certifying environmental safeguards), EMAS, and ISO 14001 for their commitment to sustainability and environmental management systems.
A number of Italy’s top new collections are also LEED-compliant. In addition, the industry is currently pushing for one extra LEED point for porcelain tile due to its durability and impressive natural sustainability.
Italy’s New Eco-Collections
In line with the long list of Italian tile manufacturers, this year’s most celebrated tile products are aesthetically appealing as well as environmentally friendly. Ergon Engineered Stone, a brand of Emilceramica, has introduced an attractive new line that minimizes the environmental impact of the manufacturing process through the use of recycled material. Appropriately named Green Tech, it is available in four colors, four sizes and is 100% eco-compatible as it consists of 40% post-industrial material.
Similarly, Caesar, the first Italian company to obtain Eco-label certification, used Cersaie 2008 as the moment to launch Change, a sleek new LEED-compliant series with a visually stimulating surface texture.
Cerim has also introduced a multifunctional solution for indoor/out, floor and wall called 100% Recycled Stone.
Tile manufacturers are not the only Italian companies gaining credibility as leaders in green production. MAPEI, a producer of grout, adhesives and sealants, dedicates more than 70% of its R&D efforts towards formulating ecologically sustainable products and systems. The company has manufactured more than 110 LEED-compliant products.
For more information on Ceramic Tiles of Italy and its member manufacturers, visit www.italiantiles.com.