Ray Anderson, Green Building Pioneer, Dead at 77

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Image credit Celcias

So many in the business world claim to be sustainable, but back in 2004 Ray Anderson of Interface said "No one should be claiming sustainable products. There is no such thing yet in terms of zero footprint. What you can do is demonstrate reduced footprint." He understood what it meant to be green, to be sustainable, and what it took to get there. Jacob Gordon wrote in his introduction to our interview with Ray:

Ray Anderson started his company, Interface, back in the 1970s to make carpet. Like any business man, he wanted to shake up the market and make a healthy profit, which he's done, and Interface now has 17 manufacturing locations on four continents. But this is not business as usual. Not anymore. Since having a sustainability epiphany, as he calls it, Ray has starting steering Interface toward one hell of a goal: zero negative effects on the planetary ecosystem by the year 2020, a goal he admits no corporation has yet reached.
ray anderson

Quote of the Day: Ray Anderson on Flight

His goal:

"To operate this petroleum-intensive business in a manner that takes from the earth only that which is naturally and rapidly renewable - not one fresh drop of oil - and to do no harm to the biosphere."

In Jeff's post The Guardian Profiles Ray Anderson, he quotes Ray:

"I see no other long term choice for industry to survive... Each of us has a role in this transformation. We must all learn to make peace with the earth, not to make war on it, or we will lose."

Ray Anderson of Interface, dead of cancer at 77.

More on Ray and Interface:

7 Steps in the Lifecyle of a Green Product
From Egregious to Green: 5 CEOs Who Made an Environmental U-Turn
Interface, Ten Years Green
Radical Transparency - InterfaceFLOR Commit to Environmental Product Declarations on all Products by 2012
Interface Carpet Keeps Cleaning Up Its Act
Interface Wins "Energy Partner of the Year" Award