If you’ve watched The Corporation
, then you’ve heard Ray Anderson, the CEO of carpet company Interface
, talk about the green awakening that led him to radically change the way his company does business. Ray’s now a famous eco-minded industrialist who speaks often about how environmental and economic interests can go hand in hand — and Interface is a highly successful company that has shrunk its carbon footprint while growing its bottom line.
During his brief talk, Ray shared the toughest question he’s ever gotten at a Q&A session:
I got this question from way in the back — “Hey Ray, in a sustainable world, do you think that there will be a place for carpets?” I was flummoxed. I had no answer for him. I mumbled something incoherent. And then I thought later what I wish I had said…
What was Ray’s too-late comeback? “Yes — there will be a place for Interface products (laughs) … because we are in the business of selling beauty and comfort to lift human spirits and make people happy. And if we can do that sustainably — and only, only if we can do that sustainably — then yes we have a space for us.”
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you’ll have a chance to hear from Ray at the Sustainable Business Council L.A.’s event tonight
. Register now
for the event, which happens Thurs., Jan. 21 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. Cost: $25 — or $60 if you want the VIP package, which includes a pre-event reception, autographed copy of Ray’s new book and a private Q&A.
Photos by Siel; book image courtesy of Macmillan