As founder and chairman of a carpet manufacturing company, Ray Anderson (1934 - 2011) wanted to build the biggest carpet business the world had ever seen.
But after reading Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce, Anderson’s motive shifted to creating a completely environmentally sustainable business. His company, Interface Inc., is now a green leader and consults with other multinationals, like Walmart, to share its vision for sustainable manufacturing.
“We want to run our factory the way nature runs her factory - on sunlight.”
• Photography – Brooks Kraft
• Video Footage – MagicWig Productions
• Music by Jamie Sparks
Sometimes change comes in stages, as is often the case for businesses deciding to “go green”. Interface Global, an international carpet manufacturer, wasn’t always clean and green. But under the leadership of GreenHero Ray Anderson, the business is well on its way to reaching its peak of sustainability.
Ray Anderson is an enlightened business leader who listened to the call of his customers over a decade ago. When buyers asked what Interface Global was doing to help the environment, Ray had an epiphany; the task at hand required new leadership and bold decisions to reshape production.
Springing into action, his company broke the seemingly mountainous task of “greening” into 7 stages, attempting to mimic nature by recycling everything and eliminating waste. What resulted was a world-leading company in corporate social responsibility with low waste and emissions, and a world-class business model for other industries to follow. Take action now to help your company scale the sustainability mountain!
i. Eliminate Waste – Reduce wasteful practices and increase recycling at work and in production processes.
ii. Benign Emissions – Cut emissions in production and travel, and consider purchasing carbon offsets from providers such as CarbonZero
iii. Renewable Energy – Run your operations using renewable energy or invest in clean energy, such as solar, wind, or geothermal. Learn other ways to save energy.
iv. Closing the loop – Redesign products to recover, recycle and reuse, thus reducing the amount of raw materials required in production. Learn about cradle-to-cradle certification.
v. Resource efficient transportation – Make all levels of transportation as efficient as possible, including employee travel. Calculate your emissions and consider carpools and biking to work.
vi. Sensitizing stakeholders – Build a community with shared goals for a better environment
vii. Redesign commerce – Interface Global is already working hard on this task, creating a model to learn from that supports sustainability-based commerce.
• Use David Suzuki’s guide to green your office, which covers ‘eliminating waste’, ‘reducing energy’, ‘smart transportation and more!
• Tell 10 friends that on its way towards ‘Mission Zero’ since 1994, Interface Global has cut down its energy use by 43%, reduced its greenhouse gases by 44%, cut waste to landfill by 77%, and cut water use by 80%. Any business can take steps to become sustainable.
• Share Ray Anderson's GreenHeroes webisode using our neat Sharelizer widget. You can post GreenHeroes.tv videos on your blog or website by simply following the directions on our site