Lengthening the service lifetime of products before being disposed could be an effective solution in achieving reduced impact on climate change and improved resource use. In the flooring industry, floor refinishing has been part of the business model for a long time. But floor owners and other stakeholders in the industry do not always recognize that floor refinishing is a viable alternative to installing new flooring.
This results in that flooring which technically can be refinished for continued use is often disposed and replaced by new flooring. If the share of refinished flooring is increased, the impact on climate change and resource use is expected to be significantly improved. The Swedish flooring market has great potential for refinishing services with millions of square meters of installed flooring.
The purpose of this project was primarily to generate information for stakeholders in the flooring industry about resource efficiency and the impact on climate change as a result of floor refinishing in Sweden. In addition, the aim was to identify barriers which prevent floor refinishing and propose potential actions for the industry to overcome these barriers. The project further aims to increase the knowledge base among stakeholders in the industry regarding the environmental impact of floor refinishing and whether it can lead to greenhouse gas emissions savings and reduced resource use compared to installation of new flooring. The scope of the project was the Swedish flooring market with specific focuses on commercial properties. The project has been divided in two parts: Life cycle assessment and roadmap.
In the first part the environmental impact from refinishing hardwood and resilient flooring has been investigated through performing a life cycle assessment. The outcome has been compared to the impact from producing and installing new flooring in terms of climate change and resource use. In addition, the result was used as proof of concept that floor refinishing can reduce the impact on climate change and minimize resource use compared to producing and installing new flooring.
The result of the first part of this project shows the following:
A roadmap is a strategic plan that defines desired outcome and outlines important actions to overcome the barriers that separates the current state from the desired outcome. The roadmap in this project has been developed together with stakeholders from the flooring industry such as material suppliers, property owners, architects and contractors.
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