Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose
Doing Business By Respecting the Earth
Ray Anderson

Ray Anderson, founder and chairman of Interface, talks about his efforts to
transform his waste-generating commercial carpet company into one that has
no environmental footprint by 2020.  Mr. Anderson spoke at Barnes & Noble
Booksellers in Atlanta.

Ray Anderson founded Interface in Georgia in 1973.  He has been the co-chair
of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development and the Presidential
Climate Action Project.  For more, visit:


Ray Anderson is founder and chairman of Interface Inc., the world’s largest
manufacturer of modular carpet for commercial and residential applications
and a leading producer of commercial broadloom and commercial fabrics. He is
“known in environmental circles for his advanced and progressive stance on
industrial ecology and sustainability.” Since 1995, he has reduced
Interface’s waste by a third, and plans to make the company sustainable by

He defines sustainability as “taking nothing from the earth that is not
rapidly and naturally renewable, and doing no harm to the biosphere.”

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.” 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.

Anderson is featured in the documentaries The Corporation and The 11th Hour
as well as an interview in The Day After Peace.

Ray Anderson is the author of Mid-Course Correction: Toward a Sustainable
Enterprise: The Interface Model. Inspired by Daniel Quinn’s novel Ishmael,
Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce, and many others, Ray Anderson has
successfully composed a piece that covers his personal journey towards
sustainability in his work.