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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sustainability is good business

Here's an excellent story of Interface, a carpet tile company driven to environmental excellence by its CEO Ray Anderson. In the 1990s, Anderson decided he wanted to make the company green.
He challenged his colleagues to set a deadline for Interface to become a “restorative enterprise,” a sustainable operation that takes nothing out of the earth that cannot be recycled or quickly regenerated, and that does no harm to the biosphere.
The deadline is 2020, but the payoffs have been more immediate.
Use of fossil fuels is down 45 percent (and net greenhouse gas production, by weight, is down 60 percent), he said, while sales are up 49 percent. Globally, the company’s carpet-making uses one-third the water it used to. The company’s worldwide contribution to landfills has been cut by 80 percent.
The savings aren't limited to the environment.
Interface sustainability efforts have saved the company more than $336 million since 1995.
The New York Times story also has a nice video on Anderson and the company's efforts.

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