Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Profit and Sustainability- Ray Anderson's Story

Ray Anderson – Recovering Plunder

Ray Anderson is the founder of Interface, the company that makes carpet tiles. His life was utterly changed when he read a book by Paul Hawkens called the Ecology of Commerce. He now called himself a ‘recovering plunderer’. He realized that with his company's global reach and manufacturing footprint, he was in a position to do something very real, very important, in building a sustainable world. Anderson focused the company's attention on sustainable decision making, taking a hard look at suppliers, manufacturing processes, and the beginning-to-end life cycle of all its products. (For example: If you can't find a place to recycle a worn or damaged Flor tile, Interface invites you to send it back to them and they'll do it for you.) They call this drive Mission Zero: "our promise to eliminate any negative impact our company may have on the environment by the year 2020."

Anderson’s company has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional "take / make / waste" industrial system upside down. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce

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