Awards 2016

Symbioz: engineered symbiosis of industry and nature

When Gerflor set out to make its flooring more sustainable, it faced a challenge: switching from petroleum-based plasticisers to natural ingredients. Not easy to find the right blend, and when they did, the name seemed a no-brainer: Symbioz.

The final product had to have the same mechanical characteristics as the oil-based original, and the manufacturing process had to be feasible on the same industrial equipment,” says Gordon Fattmann, R&D Manager at Gerflor Mipolam. ‘’That was hard work, but we made it happen.’’

Symbioz is made with a 100% bio-based plasticiser from vegetable waste and plant oils. “Even making Symbioz is more sustainable,Fattmann says. “All production waste can be used completely for the next production cycle.

Launched in 2011, Symbioz has been ‘’quite successful and is sold all over the world,’’ he says. Upkeep is also important. Symbioz’ patented surface protection reduces the consumption of water and cleaning agents during the cleaning process.

Symbioz’s VOC emissions are very low, and it has the same product performance as common homogeneous floors, conforming to ISO 10581, Gerflor says.

This combination represents a very environmentally friendly floor solution,” says Gerflor’s R&D chief.