I first saw Ray Anderson speak at the ISSS meeting in 1998. He’s continuing with the themes that he described then.
Technological and industrial advances during the last century have made a tremendous positive impact on our daily lives. Some argue that these advances have come at a significant cost to the environment and may result in global climate change. Some believe that a better model exists that consumes no non-renewable resources, reduces waste, and is profitable to business.
Anderson is recognized as one of the world’s most environmentally progressive chief executives. For the last decade, he has committed himself to making Interface a profitable yet sustainable enterprise with a Mission Zero promise to eliminate any negative impact the company may have on the environment by 2020. Since 1995 Interface has avoided material and financial waste costs in excess of $300 million globally through its internal waste elimination initiatives, and since 1996 it has reduced absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 56 percent, while increasing renewable energy usage to 13%. Mr. Anderson has become a world-renowned advocate for sustainable industry. In 1997 he was named co-chair of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. In 1999 he published a book, Mid-Course Correction: Toward a Sustainable Enterprise, The Interface Model, about his conversion to sustainability. He now travels the world, spreading the ‘gospel’ of sustainability with an energy and dedication reminiscent of the Baptist preachers of his Georgia childhood.