This week, the world lost a leader in sustainable business practise. Ray Anderson, founder and Chairman of Interface Carpets, passed away on August 8th. After reading Paul Hawkens’ The Ecology of Commerce in the mid 1990s, Mr. Anderson felt conflicted as a “plunderer of the earth”, and went on to become a leader in sustainable commerce. At his carpet company, Ray Anderson increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional “take / make / waste” industrial system on its head.
It is Ray Anderson who said:
“For theft of our children’s future to be a crime, there must be a clear demonstrable alternative to the take-make-waste industrial system that so dominates our civilization,and industry is the major culprit, stealing our children’s future, by digging up the earth and converting it to products that quickly become waste in a landfill or an incinerator. In short, digging up the earth and converting it to pollution.”
In this 2009 TED talk, in a gentle, understated way, Mr. Anderson shares a powerful vision for sustainable way of doing business: