Thursday, October 3, 2013

Corporate Floors Inc. Sees Bigger Picture

In 1994 Thomas Holland founded Corporate Floors Inc. with nothing more than one truck and one employee. Fast forward nearly twenty years and he now has a national services company with four locations throughout Texas (Grapevine, Austin, San Antonio and Houston) and over 88 ‘solutionists.’

Holland’s moniker for his employees is fitting given back in 2007 Holland himself solved a very large problem. It all started when Holland, over a decade into the carpet world, could no longer watch such a valuable resource go to landfills. Unfortunately, when he began to look for alternative outlets to the dump he found none. Rather than throw up his hands in defeat and pat himself on the back for trying, Holland made it his personal mission to find a solution.

Less than a year later Texas Carpet and Construction Recycling (TCR) was born. Local economic conditions, including supply, demand, and landfill tipping fees, typically dictate whether a collector and/or processor can charge to accept the material, take it for free, or pay its supplier. Fortunately for Holland, Corporate Floors Inc. wasn’t the only one who wanted to be more sustainable. Within a matter of months Texas Carpet Recycling had partnered with the real estate giant CB Richard Ellis, carpet giant Shaw Contact Group, among others. In fact, demand for ‘green’ was so big that Holland’s original 3,000 square-foot facility could not keep up. Today the company has a 32,000 square-foot space where it regularly sorts, bales and grinds carpet from dozens of companies.  TCR also diverts VCT, ceiling tiles and other post construction materials from landfill.

Texas Carpet Recycling is only one aspect of Holland’s green conscience.

In fact, perhaps more green than recycling is Corporate Floors Inc.’s cleaning and maintenance services. Holland was quick to recognize that carpet is one of the most costly features of any businesses’ built environment. Beyond the fact that it takes a beating every time someone walks through a facility, it affects how people feel and act.  There is no greater impact to a corporate budget or sustainability program than simply prolonging the life of their assets, including flooring, with proper maintenance.

Accordingly, Corporate Floors Inc. cleans over 40,000,000 square feet of carpet annually using the MilliCare dry carpet cleaning system, saving over 1.7 million gallons of water over traditional carpet cleaning. Using fewer chemicals, water, and effort, Corporate Floors Inc. has systems that protect carpet and upholstered furniture (MilliCare), floors (Waxnomore, Slipnomor, Marknomor), and tile & grout (saniGLAZE). For example, Corporate Floors Inc. uses Vital Oxide, a food grade, broad-spectrum antimicrobial, odorless, colorless, cleaning agent that has been certified by USEPA to kill mold, bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc. without creating other harmful byproducts that traditional bleaching produces. An added bonus for the environment of course is that by extending floors’ lifetimes, Corporate Floors Inc. is also doing their part to reduce waste.  It should perhaps be mentioned that Corporate Floors Inc. walks their talk by managing their own internal recycling program for all paper, plastic and packaging.  In addition to recycling the carpet on all jobs, Corporate Floors also recycles the packaging it comes in.

To seal the green deal, Holland established a partnership with American Forests and for every ton of carpet diverted from landfills Corporate Floors Inc. plants a tree. To date that means 3,500 trees planted, and not in a monoculture orchard or random pattern; American Forests plantings are guided by science with consideration to what is the best mix of species to achieve optimal habitat, water filtration, and air purification.

CARE is fortunate to have Holland’s experience and insight on the board and looks forward to learning about the future innovative projects Corporate Floors Inc. is likely to roll out.

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