Known in environmental circles as one of the most advanced and progressive CEOs to champion industrial ecology and sustainability in the world, Ray Anderson is the founder and chairman of Interface, Inc - www.interfaceglobal.com - the world's largest carpet manufacturer of commercial carpet. Ray was named co-chairman of the President's Council on Sustainable Development in 1997. Jay Davies had the pleasure of interviewing Ray last year on his vision for the future.
Since 1995, Ray has reduced Interface's waste by a third, and plans to make the company sustainable by 2020. For instance, under his leadership, Interface seeks to reduce and then eliminate "petroleum from its manufacturing processes." He is pioneering recycling efforts with nylon and polyester which "is recyclable, leading to more closed loop technologies for the future."
Interface's vison is to be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the entire industrial world what sustainability is in all its dimensions: People, process, product, place and profits — by 2020 — and in doing so will become restorative through the power of influence.
However, Anderson wasn't always a friend of the environment. He had his epiphany in 1994 when he read The Ecology of Commerce, by Paul Hawken, who argues that the industrial system is destroying the planet and only industry leaders are powerful enough to stop it. For more history on the company click here to vist the Interface website.
Ray Anderson is the author of a brilliant auto-biography titled Mid-Course Correction that outlines his vision for both Interface and sustainable businesses of the future, and is featured in the documentaries The Corporation and The 11th Hour.