Monday, October 05, 2009

Meet the CEO of a Company That Slashed Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 82% and Saw Profits Double today featured a fascinating interview with Ray Anderson, the CEO of Interface Carpeting.  Since 1994, Anderson has lead the company as it has:
  • cut its greenhouse gasses by 82 percent, 
  • cut its fossil fuel consumption by 60 percent, 
  • reduced its waste by 66 percent, and
  • slashed its water use by 75 percent. 
What's been the impact on Interface purely from a business standpoint?

The impact on the business, says Anderson, has been to see sales increase 60 percent and profits double.

"The waste elimination effort alone," says Anderson, "the first face of Mount Sustainability, has produced over $400 million in waste avoidance, cost avoidance, which has more than paid for all the rest of the sustainability initiative, so sustainability for us has been self-funding. Our products are the best they've ever been."

Now that's Conservation Value!  How about the benefits to his employees' morale and company's image?  Says Anderson:

"Our people are galvanized around this shared higher purpose.

Maslow said it along time ago. At the top of this pyramid of human needs is this need for self-actualization and that translates into being associated with a higher purpose, and that has brought our people together in ways we would've never imagined and enabled us to hire better people too. I mean, people are seeking out Interface not because we make carpets, but because we're changing the way everything is made and creating the example.

And finally the goodwill of the marketplace has just been astonishing. There's no amount of marketing, of clever promotions, anything we could've done at any cost that would've created the goodwill that this initiative has."

You can read Marc Gunther's full interview of Ray Anderson here...

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