As the weather goes haywire and the mercury rises, there’s no better time to start paying more attention to our carbon footprint. Besides making an effort in our everyday activities (bringing your own bag, saying no to plastic, and so on), we can also make a difference in the materials we choose for our homes. A well-done renovation which uses good quality, durable materials will create a sustainable home which will serve you well into the future.
Tiles in general are already eco-friendly materials as they are not made of natural materials, largely recyclable, durable, and do not burn. They can look the part of timber, stone, and marble, and replace those materials which require extensive efforts to extract from the environment. Some tile manufacturers have also gone the extra mile to ensure their products are made with as little impact on the environment as possible. How do you know how eco-friendly a tile is? We list the ways.
Spot the Eco Labels
Eco labels help identify products that meet the targets for a whole package of sustainability criteria. They may be country- or region-specific organisations, such as the Green Building Council Italia, U.S. Green Building Council, and the EU Ecolabel, but they are recognised internationally as well.
International certifications include LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). RICE carries many European tile brands, such as Panaria, Ergon and Floor Gres, which carries the previously mentioned eco labels. We have our own green label for buildings and building materials in Singapore as well, issued by the Singapore Green Building Council. All products from Italian tile company Floor Gres currently carry this certification.
Microban is not an eco-label, but creates more sustainable and durable building products through their proprietary anti-bacterial technology. Products with Microban are protected against mould and bacteria growth, and remain cleaner for longer. This means they degrade less quickly and require less replacement over time. Tiles impregnated with Microban are perfect for places such as bathrooms with its wet and humid environment, and kitchens for the presence of food.
Read up on Sustainability Reports
Large tile companies such as the Panaria Group and Emilgroup have clear strategies for managing the environmental impact of their production, outlined in their sustainability reports and efforts. You can obtain this information easily from their websites. Emilgroup for example, recovers waste water, reuses rejected tiles, and ensures the production processes in their factories have low-emissions.
The Panaria Group has joined the UN Global Compact, which is the largest corporate sustainability initiative worldwide initiated by the United Nations. Beyond environmental sustainability, it also encourages the private sector to adopt policies in areas such as respect for human rights, fair labour standards, and the fight against corruption. Trend leader Mutina provides information on the sustainability of their tiles in their individual product specification sheets, such as the percentage of recycled material used.
Where such information is unavailable, here’s a mantra that will guide you to make eco-friendly choices – buy less, but buy better.
Explore a huge range of eco-friendly tiles at riceLAB. Find out more about the brand at riceLAB. Make an appointment by emailing us here or by calling 6692 1199. riceLAB is at 213 Henderson Road 01.03 Singapore 159553. RICE is open from Mondays to Fridays 10am to 7pm, and Saturdays from 10am to 6pm.