Last weekend I was visiting a friend and I was impressed by the new carpeting at his house. The floorcovering has a stylishly retro, "mid-century modern" look, and it's practical, too: the carpet is composed of small tiles that you can arrange to create your own patterns and fit the size of the room. But I was really surprised and pleased to find out that the maker of the carpeting is Interface, an Atlanta-based company whose CEO, Ray Anderson, has become a new hero of environmentally-conscious business. Anderson realized that he was a "plunderer" of natural resources after reading The Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken. Since then, Anderson has been striving to drive Interface towards sustainable practices (a big deal in an industry that relies on petroleum). He's outspoken and passionate about the effort. (In the recent documentary, "The Corporation," Anderson addresses a group of captains of industry as "fellow plunderers.") It's exciting to see that he's making environmentalism, business, and design come together so harmoniously.

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5 Comments

  • Heath Row

    Readers' Choice selections are usually new books -- to highlight new ideas and tools. The closest we've come to a selection like the books mentioned above might be What Matters Most by Jeffrey Hollender. He even joined us as an FC Now guest host.

    That said, readers can always help us choose the next selection. Tell us what to read!

  • Adam Jacobson

    I saw Ray speak at the recent Investors' Circle conference. Inspiring.
    FC should spend more time covering true waves of the future as in how we live in a world where energy is expensive and the environment matters rather than on the latest management book to say the same thing. How about making Ray's book or the Ecology of Commerce the book of the month?

  • aleah sato

    What's enlightening about Ray's profile in the Corporation is that it is so easy to make a documentary about the evils of (fill_in_the_blank), but so arduous to actually offer hope.

    Anderson addressed the issue of corporate excess, and turned it into a proactive re-creation of his own business, both ecologically sound and successful.

  • Steven Johnson

    I saw Ray Anderson in "The Corporation". He was breathtakingly refreshing and inspiring. He started me along a road of reassessment, both professionally and personally. We need more Ray Andersons.