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Jun. 14, 2011
Suminoe Textile Co., Ltd.
Suminoe Co., Ltd.
Sumitomo Corporation
Refineverse Inc.

Launch of "ECOS" recycled carpet tiles(*1) with among the top recycled content rates in Japan

--Made from up to 77% recycled materials--

Suminoe Textile Co., Ltd (President: Ichizo Yoshikawa, Headquarters: Osaka) and Suminoe Co., Ltd. (President: Yoshiaki Tanihara, Headquarters: Osaka) announced that they will commence the production of "ECOS," a new line of carpet tiles with a significantly higher recycled content rate than previous products. The recycled materials used in ECOS tiles were jointly developed in conjunction with Sumitomo Corporation (President and CEO: Susumu Kato, Headquarters: Tokyo) and Refineverse Inc. (President: Akira Ochi, Headquarters: Tokyo). The new line will help close the materials loop in carpet tile production.


As shareholders of Refineverse, a Tokyo-based company engaged in the collection and recycling of used carpet tiles, Suminoe Textile and Sumitomo Corporation have long been exploring the possibilities of recycling used carpet tiles with the aim of reducing industrial waste and promoting the effective use of resources.


Suminoe Textile has recently installed new dedicated production facilities for manufacturing carpet tiles from recycled materials made from the used carpet tiles collected by Refineverse. As a result of this large-scale investment, one of the company's largest ever capital expenditures, Suminoe Textile is now ready to engage in full-scale production and sale of ECOS tiles.


ECOS carpet tiles boast a number of beneficial features, including: (1) The achievement of up to 77% post-consumer recycled content, a significantly higher percentage than the Eco Mark environmental labeling requirement. Product safety is ensured by strict verification and clear disclosure of the origins of the recycled materials. (2) A carbon footprint reduction of up to 43% compared to the company's existing products (according to an LCA assessment by Mizuho Information & Research Institute). (3) Competitive pricing achieved by the avoidance of a "green premium," a common disadvantage of many recycled products.


The product meets the new "green product" criteria set out in the April 2011 amendment to the Law on Promoting Green Purchasing(*2). Following the amendment, which indicates the increasing importance of reducing environmental impact in today's society, recycled carpet tiles need to have a recycled content rate of 25%, up from the previous 10%, in order to be considered green products.


Broad efforts to realize a low-carbon, resource-recycling economy and, ultimately, a sustainable society are expected to pick up even greater momentum in the future, and ECOS carpet tiles can make a positive contribution in this respect. Under the theme of "Conserving resources for future generations," the new product line has established an eco-friendly value chain, which starts with the collection of used carpet tiles, moves through the recycling, manufacturing and sale of recycled carpet tiles, their use by consumers, and back to collection.


The ECOS series will be launched on July 15, 2011. The initial lineup includes 186 items in 10 categories. By the end of 2011, ECOS will have replaced all existing carpet tiles produced and sold by Suminoe Textile and Suminoe. Against a backdrop of corporations coming under increasing pressure to take actions for the global environment, we aim to help develop a sustainable society through the sale of ECOS.


*1 Small, square-shaped pieces of carpeting used as flooring. Just like regular tiles, they are laid over bare floor spaces to provide cover.
*2 A law encouraging the national and local governments of Japan to purchase environmentally friendly products.


Corporate Communications Department,
Sumitomo Corporation

TEL:+81-3-5166-3100News Release Contact Form

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