Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ray Anderson's Sustainable Legacy: Interface, Inc. Part One

The sustainable efforts of Atlanta-based Interface, Inc. have been recognized around the world. Interface Inc (NASDAQ: IFSIA), is a global leader in the manufacture of environmentally-responsible floorcoverings and other textiles.

Interface's journey started in 1994 when their Founder and Chairman Ray Anderson challenged the company to adopt a bold sustainable vision, something that would later be called Mission 0. This new mission would require new thinking and a new business model. Ray's vision became a passion for sustainability took hold with their people and the company was transformed.

Interface’s sustainability journey has been successful in three key areas: Footprint Reduction, Product Innovation and Culture Change.

As of 2010, eight of nine factories operated by Interface use 100 percent renewable electricity, and 30 percent of their total energy use was from renewable sources. As part of Interface's Mission Zero® commitment the company is striving to source 100% of their energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. To achieve this, they are improving their energy efficiency including the use of building energy management systems and increasing their use of renewable energy.

Addressing the company's greenhouse gas emissions is a key component of their Mission Zero® commitment. They are striving to become a carbon neutral company by measuring, reducing and offsetting their carbon emissions. In addition, they are implemented employee programs to help address their emissions and they sell carbon neutral products through their Cool Carpet™ program.

Interface calculates and reports their greenhouse gas emissions using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard. They also use life cycle assessemet to measure the footprint of their products for their Cool Carpet program. Interface has succeeded in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions from their global manufacturing operation by 35 percent from a 1996 baseline. They have imployed diverse strategies including process efficiencies, energy efficiencies and renewable energy.

Interface reports their annual progress through several voluntary reporting partnerships like the Chicago Climate Exchange and the EPA's Climate Leaders Program. They also made a "Zero CO2 Emissions" commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative which commits the company to being carbon neutral by 2020.

Interface shares their progress on our environmental footprint reduction and social impacts throughout the Sustainability section of their website, and in particular, through their metrics, EcoMetrics and SocioMetrics.They are also one of the first companies to release a sustainability report with their 1997 Interface Sustainability Report, and an interactive Mission Zero Milestones report on their progress.

Interface is also actively engaged in partnerships and collaborative networks to addresss climate change and promote climate policy.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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Ray Anderson's Sustainable Legacy: Interface, Inc. Part Two
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