By Melanie Bracey on January 12, 2015

This worldwide flooring-solutions leader is making great strides in sustainability. 


Available in more than 100 countries, Tarkett is a world leader in providing sustainable flooring solutions, selling 14 million square feet of flooring per day. Sustainability has been a part of Tarkett’s core for almost 50 years. And with acquisitions of other flooring companies such as Johnsonite, Centiva, Tandus and Desso over the last decade, sustainability in flooring manufacturing has grown exponentially in more flooring markets around the world due to Tarkett’s leadership.

While the company offers flooring to businesses of all kinds, health care facilities make up a significant portion of its client base. Linoleum, rubber and vinyl tiles, rubber and vinyl sheet goods, stairwell accessories, finishing borders and carpet tile are some of the many ways Tarkett solutions connect patient rooms to emergency rooms and rehabilitation centers to urgent care—all working in perfect harmony and balance to create measurable return on investment while putting people and the environment at the center. Sustainability at Tarkett is not considered as a constraint; it is seen as an inspiring source of innovation, starting with eco-design. With this vision, the company is literally paving the way for sustainable flooring solutions in health care facilities around the globe.

Tarkett bases its health care vision on six pillars: patient centeredness, innovation, research and development, life safety, sustainability and procurement. Each pillar supports Tarkett’s commitment to creating innovative flooring solutions that foster and promote Generative Space. At Tarkett, its mission is to elevate flooring so that it becomes an integrated part of a healing environment.

Tarkett focuses on bridging the varied requirements of designers, building operators, facilities staff and patients to make sure all of the needs of the space are addressed. Flooring faces several challenges in health care settings, including constant foot traffic, health and safety concerns for patients and staff, cleanliness and ease of maintenance, and design coordination, just to name a few. Tarkett proudly offers the world’s most integrated flooring solution system to address all these daily needs.

“We put people in the center of everything we do, and nowhere is this more important than in today’s health care environments.”

Director of healthcare strategy and development

Tarkett flooring products include a variety of materials, such as rubber, vinyl, linoleum and carpet. Through their commitment to Cradle 2 Cradle principles and the Circular Economy program, Tarkett has developed an environmental strategy called closed loop, circular design. This strategy is one of infinite or repeated re-use. Regardless of the type of product, each adheres to the Tarkett sustainability strategy: environmentally good and safe materials, resource stewardship focusing on manufacturing and on reducing waste, water and energy; people-friendly spaces with low-emitting products, as well as the ReStart recycling program. Tarkett values partnerships with manufacturers that share the same ideals. In addition, Tarkett continues to keep its materials as environmentally safe and patient-centered as possible. For example, a selection of its vinyl products is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America as being “asthma and allergy friendly.” Cradle 2 Cradle certifications are found on linoleum, carpet tile, and rubber products. The company also offers a range of vinyl products that are phthalate-free (except for recycled content), an important milestone in the conversation of sustainable and eco-conscious materials.

Cynthia Hubbell, director of Healthcare Strategy & Development for Tarkett North America, is passionate about her company’s focus on sustainability. “We put people in the center of everything we do, and nowhere is this more important than in today’s health care environments,” she said. Hubbell explained that it’s important to remember that enhanced flooring performance fully supports patient centered care. “Our flooring solutions keep patients safe by reducing slip-falls and keep healing spaces quiet. In addition, they also offer way-finding and egress guidance. At Tarkett, we work diligently to create nurturing spaces that promote well-being and enable people to thrive and flourish,” Hubbell said.

Prioritizing this kind of atmosphere in a health care facility shows Tarkett’s focus on being a partner in the healing process of patients, which is a truly sustainable concept.