It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of one of our GreenHeroes. Ray Anderson was the founder and chairman of carpet manufacturer Interface Inc. Ray passed away on August 8 after an epic struggle with cancer.
Ray was a hero, as he encompassed the true spirit of entrepreneurship and left behind an innovative green business model. He used the metaphor of climbing a mountain to identify and explain what he called the Seven Fronts of Mount Sustainability, efforts companies must make to become sustainable:
- Front 1 – Eliminate Waste
- Front 2 – Eliminate Harmful Emissions
- Front 3 – Increase Energy Efficiency and use Renewable Energy Resources
- Front 4 – Reduce Finite Raw Material Inputs and use recycled materials
- Front 5 – Reduce Transportation’s Carbon Footprint
- Front 6 – Sensitize Stakeholders
- Front 7 – Redesign Commerce
Ray saw that a profit could still be made by placing a heavy emphasis on recycling, ensuring that the company was working towards reducing their ecological footprint while also boosting their reputation and sales. Ray was a conundrum: he was both a successful capitalist as well as an active GreenHero — a Green Capitalist! He sought to drastically shift his company’s practice of operating primarily to the goal of achieving profit to becoming completely sustainable.
GreenHeroes has released several posts related to his great work and will be featuring them in the blog over the next two weeks.