2019 was a pivotal year for Corporate Floors and our family of brands, APEX Surface Care and Texas Carpet Recycling. In 2019, Corporate Floors officially became a Public Benefit Corporation, a mission we’ve been keen to accomplish for many years. Corporate Floors/APEX Surface Care/TCR is the only Public Benefit Company in the commercial flooring and maintenance industry. Corporate Floors is pleased to report the following results from our social and environmental stewardship and community efforts in 2019:
While it is our goal to be good corporate citizens of the community where we work and the earth on which we live, it is our mission to advance opportunities for our employees and the communities in which they work, create sustainable solutions to reduce the amount of carpet in landfills and advance opportunities for women in the facilities management industry. We will do this by caring for our employees and creating a true Employee Experience while delivering world-class, commercial flooring products, installation, and maintenance services to image-conscious clients throughout North America.
Mission 1: Create sustainable solutions to reduce the amount of carpet in landfills.
We continue to recycle carpet, ceiling tile, post-industrial fiberglass and the packaging from our family of brands. For the last decade, Corporate Floors has a mission to remain a zero carpet to landfill company. Increasingly this is becoming more difficult as the carpet recycling industry continues to downsize and reduce the number of outlets for commercial carpet. Dramatic changes to the carpet recycling industry will affect the ability for collectors (such as TCR) to divert commercial carpet from landfill moving forward.
- All outlets for PVC carpet tile were effectively shut down. Interface changed its policy from accepting all PVC-backed carpet for recycling to only receiving its own PVC carpet tile.
- All other sources to recycle PVC carpet tile in any material quantity are closed.
- In 2019 we worked on a potential partnership with a local cement kiln to divert large amounts of carpet from landfills; however, the economies of scale did not work and it was not economically feasible.
- *Total recycled carpet – 708 tons, an increase of 31% from 2018.
- The post-industrial fiberglass stream increased considerably in 2019; however, we recognize this volume can be directly affected by the market.
- *Total recycled fiberglass – 1,547 tons, up 20.89% from 2018.
Ceiling Tile Update
- The ceiling tile market has effectively collapsed since Armstrong ended its partnership program, now only working directly with those seeking to recycle this product. As a result, TCR is no longer able to divert ceiling tiles.
- *Total recycled ceiling tile – 7.9 tons, a 97% decrease over 2018.
- The paper and packaging recycling industries are struggling as prices remain depressed. However, TCR saw a sharp increase in these materials, simply due to the growth of Corporate Floors and APEX. Corporate Floors and APEX still recycle 100% of packaging whenever possible.
- *Total recycled packaging – 16.23 tons, a 67% increase from 2018.
- Our family of companies was proud to donate 49 tons (approximately two trailer loads) of flooring materials, primarily to Habitat for Humanity, in 2019.
- *Total donations – 49.3 tons, down 11%. Note, donations vary depending on inventory in place.
- Total diverted from landfill: 2,279 tons
*Source: Corporate Floors reclamation log
Note: Commercial carpet makes up a small percentage of the overall carpet recycled in the United States, and Corporate Floors is proud to be one of the largest carpet recyclers in the United States. Approximately 60% of commercial carpet collected can be truly recycled back into end use products. The remaining 40% collected is shredded and burned in waste to energy facilities in lieu of natural resources such as coal and oil. While waste to energy is not recognized by many as a favorable recycling method, we feel that it is a better alternative to landfilling until technology catches up and provides a viable way to recycle some of these low-value products.
Mission 2: Advance opportunities for our employees and the communities in which they work.
Social Impact / Community Involvement
Our teams spent over 240 hours in 2019 volunteering with several organizations to help make our business community and the world more sustainable:
- U.S. Green Building Council
- Greater DFW Recycling Alliance
- State of Texas Alliance for Recycling
- North Texas Recycling Coalition
- Carpet America Recovery Effort
In addition, in 2019, we also supported Fisher House, Feed My Starving Children and Gatehouse as part of our community outreach. We provided financial contributions as well as pro bono services to these local organizations. In 2019, the Fisher House was the primary recipient of our charitable financial contributions during the holidays. We also sponsored and hosted fundraisers for local causes and volunteered time to give back to our local communities.
We continued our 2014 initiative, our Employee Giving Fund, whereby each staff employee is given an allowance of $200 to be used for any charitable contribution they wish to make, empowering them to make a difference either individually or, as some did, by pooling together to make a bigger impact. Our team responded with excitement and many organizations benefited including Austin Children’s Services, Partners in Hope, St. Jude’s, Make a Wish Foundation, American Heart Association, Children’s Advocacy Center, Grace Outreach and others.
2018 was a banner year for the business so, in early 2019, we paid out more than $280,000 in total bonuses to our team members, helping advance opportunities for our team. We expect that the total bonuses in 2019 will be more modest as we funded three new office locations in Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2019, increasing our expenses.
We were exceedingly proud of our team’s initiatives on many charitable fronts and know that many of the hours spent by our team giving to those in need were never even reported. While our core business is to provide flooring products and services, Corporate Floors believes the larger goal is to provide an environment where we can benefit our respective families, those of our clients and vendors, the community and the world we live in.
Mission 3: Advance opportunities for women in the facilities management industry.
WIFM or Women in Facilities Management also had a great year. In 2018 the organization was formally organized into a 501(c)3 organization and a board of directors was elected, helping to provide more stability. This organization was founded by our family of companies in 2008. APEX remains the founding sponsor and Thomas Holland, our CEO, remains on the board as the Board Advisor. In 2019 a new sponsor program was created to help fund additional growth and opportunities for women in facilities management. At the end of 2019, we had commitments for new chapters in Washington DC and San Francisco, and in 2020 WIFM will host meetings and new chapters in Los Angeles, Phoenix and perhaps one other market. Another big add in 2019 was the WIFM Star chapter website, which greatly enhances our ability to service and communicate with the members, as well as providing a much better marketing platform. We also implemented a new member tracking feature as well as a “stakeholder” tracking feature. Stakeholders are those who wish to receive our communications and may attend a meeting, but have not yet signed up, and been approved as a member.
METRICS TARGETS FOR 2020
We remain optimistic that 2020 will result in modest increases in total tonnage of products diverted from landfill, despite the loss of the PVC and ceiling tile markets. We expect big growth in WIFM and are continuing to revamp our Giving Fund and volunteer program in order to encourage increased participation.