Triple Pundit: Why Going Green Is A Moral Imperative For Businesses

Just over a year after radical industrialist Ray Anderson’s death, he still has a lot to teach business. Triple Pundit interviews a colleague to commemorate the man who forced businesses to start thinking green.

A year ago this week, Ray Anderson, founder and chairman of InterfaceFLOR and one of the leading sustainable business pioneers of this generation, passed away. The self-described “radical industrialist” saw environmental stewardship as a business and moral imperative, and Anderson not only had an impact on InterfaceFLOR’s competitors, but industrial giants such as GE.

Anderson’s influence naturally trickled through his company’s supply chain. To that end, Triple Pundit interviewed Giulio Bonazzi, Chairman and CEO of Italy-based Aquafil Group. Aquafil is a supplier to many companies including InterfaceFLOR and has made its own mark on green building and design with its ECONYL process, and chemical and mechanical process that allows the recovery and recycling of polyamide 6, an important component in carpet.

Can you tell us about your relationship with InterfaceFLOR and Ray Anderson?

We met about about fifteen years ago. At that time, Aquafil was still a small family run business, especially when compared to “giants” such as Dupont. Our first ever meeting with Ray Anderson took place in 1998 and that was the beginning of an important relationship, both from a personal and business point of view.

Is there a particular anecdote or story about Ray you’d like to share with us?

Well, of course I have several memories about my relationship with Ray Anderson. I remember the day that for InterfaceFLOR’s 25th anniversary the company organized a big event with 800 guests from around the world. It was a special occasion because for the first time Ray Anderson introduced InterfaceFLOR’s key project: “Mission Zero 2020.”

I remember that everyone was stunned and disoriented by what he was describing! Some of the guests posed questions in a skeptical tone such as if and how it would have been possible to produce carpets without using oil and how this new path could have been profitable for InterfaceFLOR and the entire carpet industry. As often happened, Ray Anderson had a forward-looking answer: he said that not only was “Mission Zero 2020“ possible, but that was the only path to follow for InterfaceFLOR. He said that it was the only way to continue to be profitable and build the company’s  future and that of the entire carpet industry. He definitely was a visionary in terms of sustainable businesses.

 

(Original article by Leon Kaye. Continue reading here)

Originally published on Triple Pundit, republished with kind permission

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