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DESSO, inventor of the DESSO AirMaster® carpet, continues to raise awareness of global air quality challenges

07 January 2014

Desso, the global carpets, carpet tiles and sports pitches company continues to invest in a major television advertising campaign in Europe as part of its continuing commitment to raising awareness of the issue of indoor air quality.

The campaign which first broadcasts in the Netherlands at the beginning of the year focuses on one of the company's latest best-seller product innovations, the DESSO AirMaster® carpet, which is eight times more effective than hard floors at retaining and capturing fine dust particles and four times more effective than regular carpets1).

"People spend 90% of their time indoors, so it's imperative that we find ways to invent new products that contribute to health and wellbeing indoors. Whether it's about improving air quality in schools, universities, hospitals, offices, care centres, public buildings or transport systems its good business both commercially and from the corporate responsibility perspective. That is why we are delighted the new DESSO AirMaster® carpet product has been such a resounding success in current and new markets from Europe to Latin America, such that it has become our best performing product worldwide."

Alexander Collot d'Escury (CEO Desso Group)

From Shanghai to Brussels, air pollution is an issue of increasing concern. Cleaning up air pollution in China may cost as much as 1.75 billion yuan (over €200 billion)2). According to the European Commission, poor air quality is a bigger cause of premature death than road traffic accidents3). To deal with this, the EU has recently announced further measures to clean up Europe's air4).

Small dust particles of less than 10 micrometres (µm) in diameter (PM10) and less than 2.5µm (PM2.5) can cause respiratory and cardiovascular disease and lung cancer. The World Health Organisation has estimated than more than two million people die every year from breathing tiny particles in the indoor and outdoor air5).

Last year, Desso launched its ongoing Great Indoors campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of such issues as particulate matter to human health; alongside this it has focused its innovation programme on developing products that contribute to health and wellbeing, which is at the core of the company's vision: 'To make the floor work for our health and wellbeing'. Linked to this vision is the company's commitment to the circular economy powered by Cradle to Cradle®

Since 2008 Desso has been dedicated to developing a far reaching business sustainability approach based on Cradle to Cradle® principles, which encourage the development of products made from healthy materials, leading to safer and more effective recycling later. This approach underpins Desso's commitment to the circular economy, in which goods are recycled in a healthy way again and again.

Better indoor air quality not only contributes to better health and wellbeing, it also boosts worker productivity. A Californian study by William Fisk from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory demonstrated that better indoor air quality can improve office workers' productivity by 0.5 to 5 percent with estimated savings of $20 billion to $200 billion per year.

Desso CEO Alexander Collot d'Escury will be discussing the issue of the circular economy and the need to create the Great Indoors at the World Economic Forum's annual summit in Davos during January 22-25.

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1) Based on independent tests carried out by the German test institute, GUI with DESSO AirMaster® versus standard PVC hardfloor and versus standard structured loop pile carpet.

2) Kaiman, J, China faces $176 bill to clean up air pollution, The Guardian, 20 December 2013.

3)  European Commission Press Release, Environment: New policy package to clean up Europe's air, Brussels, 18 December 2013.

4) European Commission Press Release, Environment: New policy package to clean up Europe's air, Brussels, 18 December 2013.

5) WHO, Tackling the global clean air challenge, 26 September 2011.

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