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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