This topic is getting about as funny as Tanya Harding doing speaking engagements and telling the world that she's been misunderstood as an athlete despite attacking her opponent in the Olympic skating competition. There are actually manufacturers trying to con the buying public into saying that they are making a "carbon neutral" carpet. Think about this. What are these mills doing, riding the carpet to the job site on bicycles and manufacturing using gerbils?
Let's get serious; this is a marketing effort at its finest. But wait, is it the manufacturers fault? Not really. See, it is the industry that allows mills to say this because the industry can buy credits to offset things they have yet to fix in their manufacturing processes. In reality, there is no such thing as carbon neutral carpet, unless of course you factor in the highly debated practice of buying carbon credits and trying to say that you have offset all of the bad practices that you are doing while making carpet. Now, even if you buy the story that those "offsets" really do offset your carbon footprint when making carpet, that doesn't make the carpet you manufacture carbon neutral, it just makes people feel better about buying the carpet you make.
The reality is that making commercial carpet these days is an energy intensive non carbon neutral process. It doesn't make it horrible it's just not carbon neutral by any manufacturer anywhere. Several mills are doing really fantastic things in terms of sustainability, but selling the story that your company is carbon neutral or your product is totally carbon neutral is like saying planting trees makes your carpet green. It might make the forest green but until manufacturers change their carpet construction, materials, manufacturing process, and are taking back all their materials and are turning them into new products, they should stop calling their carpets "carbon neutral." If you want to tell the world that you are doing well by doing good then do well and stop marketing the carbon neutral lie. As a real estate professional, don’t make “carbon neutral” the reason to buy a certain mill. Look deeper at the products themselves, the processes, and the performance and then make a decision.
The world of green carpet is a little goofy right now. It's really not about "green" carpet per se it's more about who's green is greener and who can make up stuff to make people think they are doing green things. Don't get me wrong, it's really nice to see that manufacturers are even engaging in this dialog and direction, but it's the marketing babble that starts to separate the green from the lime from the ugly hunter green colors. I mean really, who wants hunter green anymore even if you did plant a few trees to get it.
Planting trees are nice and really good for the environment(as well as at Christmas time), buying wind power is cool, using solar power -good too, running plants off of bio-diesel-very nice, spending capital on carbon credits - yes, yes, recycling the trash from your cafeterias, reducing paper, going electronic, blah, blah, blah. Yes, yes, all of us sustainably minded people love all that. But what about the carpet you make? That's talking about the sustainable things you do to run your company, not about the carpet being green. True, some of those things are part of being a green carpet but if you make unsustainable crap that falls apart in 3-5 years how green is that really?
To me, green carpet is about the carpet being sustainable, fully recyclable, we'll take it back when your done, we won't let you throw it away in your neighbors back yard landfill, we won't pollute the environment with bad chemicals like pesticides, nasty adhesives, and destructive materials. Green carpet that uses less materials but performs for a veritable lifetime and is made with quality materials that are sustainable. And actually may come in some very nice green colors. (just kidding, that's a joke for those of you that are grimacing because you are so serious about the subject that you lay awake at night wondering about where your carpet is going) Chill out, there are manufacturers that do a great job of this. Then there are those that babble on about being green while dumping chemicals into children's schools via the floor.
Simply put, green carpet should be about the carpet, not the money you spend on feeling better about yourself because your carpet isn't really very sustainable. I mean really, doesn't green really mean sustainable and friendly to the environment? Think about that while your eating a nice pistachio ice cream cone. But please, recycle the wrapper.