earthfirst (January 26, 2010) - Ray Anderson is
known as 'the greenest chief executive in America' - but he wasn't
always that way. The founder and CEO of Interface Inc., a carpet
tile company, found himself faced with giving a speech about his
company's approach to the environment in 1994 and it really made
He told The New York Times, "I was running a company
that was plundering the earth. I thought, 'Damn, some day people
like me will be put in jail! It was a spear in the chest.'"
Anderson is a prime example of how going green can benefit
companies financially. Since setting out to make Interface a more
sustainable operation in 1995, the company has saved an amazing
$336 million. At the same time, according to Haily Zaki of Inhabitat.com, Interface was
able to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 82%, fossil fuel
consumption by 60%, waste by 66% and water by 75%.
Now, Anderson is sharing his advice and experience with the
world in a book called Confessions of a Radical Industrialist:
Profits, People, Purpose - Doing Business by Respecting the
The book gives other companies that would like to see similar
success in turning sustainability into a successful business
strategy a practical roadmap to the process.
"I think that if I had any advice to give, it would be to make
sure your product meets every conventional test of the market and
then add the environmentally responsible frosting on the cake,"
Anderson toldGreenLivingIdeas.com in an October 2009
interview about the book.
"Green for the sake of green may not cut it. In fact, there's
another way to think about that: The brownest product there is is
the greenest product that doesn't work. Not only is it not working,
but also it's giving green a bad name."
Interface Inc was the winner of the 2006 GLOBE
Environmental Excellence Award for Corporate
Competitiveness, presented by the GLOBE Foundation of
Canada at GLOBE 2006 in Vancouver Canada.
The GLOBE Awards for Environmental Excellence are presented
annually to extraordinary companies and industry groups who have
managed to balance competitive business strategies and sustainable
development. Now in their 8th edition, these prestigious awards
recognize outstanding achievement in environmental stewardship in
The next edition of the GLOBE Awards will be in 2010 and is now
open. Deadline for submissions will be January 31,
2010. For details on award categories, criteria and
submission requirements, please visit here.