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March 29: Buildings, Business and Sustainability

A talk by Ray Anderson, founder and CEO of Interface

When: Tuesday, March 29 6:30 – 9:00 PM

Where: Indianapolis Children’s Museum, 3300 N Meridian St.

Sponsored by the Indiana chapter of the US Green Building Council.

The US Green Building Council is a coalition of builders commited to environmentally sound practices and standards. Interface is one of the world leading interior furnishing companies. While Interface is noted in its industry for its commitment to high quality design and innovation, the company is fast gaining a reputation as a corporation carrying the banner for the environment. Inspired chiefly by Paul Hawken's treatise, The Ecology of Commerce, CEO Ray Anderson heightened the company's awareness and led changes in technology in an effort to move toward being environmentally sustainable. What this means, primarily, is learning to harness solar energy and provide raw material needs by harvesting and recycling carpet and other petrochemical products, while eliminating waste and harmful emissions from its operations. Anderson believes that if Interface, a petro-intensive company, can get it right, it will never have to take another drop of oil from the earth. The philosophy guiding Anderson's passion for this cause is simply that it is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing, too.
Because the commitment Interface has made is so unique, both in terms of the industry and business in general, the environmental community has embraced the company and lauded its efforts. Ray Anderson was named co-chairman of the President's Council on Sustainable Development in 1997, and received the inaugural Millennium Award from Global Green, presented by Mikhail Gorbachev in September 1996. He was also recognized in 1996 as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southeast Region, and as the Georgia Conservancy's Conservationist of the Year in 1997. Interface, Inc., was named one of the Top 100 Companies to Work For in America by FORTUNE magazine in 1997 and 1998. In January, 2001, Ray was selected by the National Academy of Sciences to receive the prestigious George and Cynthia Mitchell International Prize for Sustainable Development, the first corporate CEO to be so honored. His book, Mid-Course Correction (Chelsea Green, 1998) describes his and Interface's transformation to environmental responsibility.

On a personal note, my office at the Sagamore Institute has an Interface carpet, it is strange to think that my floor has a more interesting philosophy than I do.

This event is free and open to all. RSVP to events@inusgbc.org, call Larry Boyle at 574-0027.

If you like this event, you should check out ...
  • April 20: The ICWA dinner discussion about US global energy policy will show what might happen if we don't adopt Roy Anderson's philosophy

1 comment:

Charlie Wiles said...

I look forward to hearing more about "green" business and how I can direct my purchases to support the movement. Thanks for the info John.

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