AN ECOLOGICAL RETHINK IS NEEDED
Reducing emissions and preserving natural resources: ANKER never stops looking for new ways to shape the transition towards more eco-friendly flooring types, backing constructions and fibre materials with its innovative products.
solution dyed fibre is a great example – and is already used to make 80% of ANKER products. The technology is not only exceptionally attractive from a design standpoint, but also enables energy-efficient production processes and saves valuable raw and waste water.
RECYCLING STARTS BEFORE PRODUCTION BEGINS
ANKER played a key role in developing the eco-friendly Econyl fibre manufactured by Aquafil. After all, ANKER was the first European manufacturer to turn its attention to the innovative environmental topics of recycling and the use of recycled material. And having learned from experience, ANKER now uses its edge in expertise to enable reliable production and processes with these new materials.
Today, almost all residual polyamide 6 yarns at ANKER are recycled. Fibre manufacturer Aquafil collects the residual yarns and uses them to make recycled Econyl fibres, which are then processed to make new ANKER carpets.
The picture is a little different with the fibres of carpets that have already been laid. While these are also 100% recyclable, there is currently no technical equipment on the market that can sort the various materials used to make the carpet. What’s more, the energy expended to transport the carpets to a central recycling facility would have to be factored in to the carbon footprint.
For this reason, incineration is an alternative worth considering. Surprisingly enough, the calorific value of a synthetic carpet is roughly the same as that of heating oil, which means that carpets can be incinerated in a way that generates energy. This is interesting, because heating oil is otherwise usually burnt to keep these kinds of incineration plants operational. With today’s incineration technology, it is possible to incinerate in a way that releases far fewer harmful substances than the burning of natural resources in a domestic open fireplace.
PUTTING PRODUCTION WASTE TO GOOD USE
Other production waste and surplus materials from the ANKER carpet factory are also given a new lease of life. All carpet waste that is not made of polyamide 6 is taken away by specialist providers and used to make various synthetic products as part of a downcycling scheme. Textile flock, which is produced during various finishing processes, is used as a filler in the construction industry.
SUSTAINABLE QUALITY HAS NO SELL-BY DATE
ANKER carpets are long-lasting, high-quality products that have been built to withstand the toughest building applications in high-footfall areas. Many of them have been in place for decades – not that you would know. ANKER tufted products retain their original form for at least ten years, with this figure rising to 20–25 years for woven products. And even then, the carpets are only usually replaced because design preferences change over time.
Issues such as sustainability, ecology, recycling and environmental friendliness are key pillars of the ANKER corporate strategy. Our vision for the future is to achieve complete sustainability on the basis of resource-neutral and socially responsible production. It’s an ambitious aim and we admit that, even at ANKER, there are a few things to do and improve before it is achieved in full. But the company is spurred on every single day by its desire to do the right thing and get ever closer to its goal.