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Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist Paperback – March 29, 2011

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Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist + The Ecology of Commerce Revised Edition: A Declaration of Sustainability (Collins Business Essentials) + Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312544553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312544553
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Sustainability, argues Anderson, makes just as much business sense as it does a liberal crusade, and he even makes absorbing reading out of the process that transformed his operations. 

--Publisher's Weekly

He may be 'radical' but he's also a profit-seeking businessman. Ray has found a new path that's good for the planet and great for his business.   --Andrew Winston, environmental strategist, author of Green Recovery and co-author of Green to Gold

If we had a lot more businessmen like Ray Anderson, the planet would be neither bankrupt or overheated. He is a hero, and this book makes clear why! --Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy

We are in desperate need of hope, but if hope is to be credible and trustworthy, it has to walk a straight line.  No one does this better than Ray Anderson. --Paul Hawken, author of The Ecology of Commerce, Natural Capitalism, and Blessed Unrest

Ray put everything he has built at his company on the line for what he believed and created a model of profitable sustainability and humanity. This tale of how and why is a great story.   --Jonathan Lash, President, World Resources Institute

“Inspirational . . . Essential reading for anyone, whether lay, student, or practitioner, interested in business success today and in the environment.”—Library Journal (starred review)

From the Author

From the Prologue:
My company, Interface, Inc., has just marked an important milestone - 10 years until our target year for Mission Zero, for zero environmental footprint, a goal for which we have set 2020 as our deadline.  I'm immensely proud of Interface, and encouraged about our future.  
You may be familiar with my story - the epiphany I experienced in 1994 when I read Paul Hawken's book, The Ecology of Commerce, seeking inspiration for a speech to a task force that was organizing at Interface to answer customer concerns about the environment. That change of world view led me down a road I had never imagined for myself or my petroleum-intensive company - eventually to get off oil.
Distancing ourselves from the wellhead requires that we re-imagine the antiquated, linear, take-make-waste industrial system of which we are all a part.  And instead, to become part of a thoughtful, cooperative, cyclical system that mimics nature in the way that we design, source, manufacture, sell, install - and eventually reclaim and recycle - our products.  This ambitious undertaking requires new technology, new inputs, new thinking.  It is intensely complicated and, at the same time, completely liberating to think outside the traditional confines of design and manufacturing.  Somewhere along the way, the idea that what we were doing was so right - so right, and so smart - emerged to propel us forward.  
At Interface, this new way of thinking is working - our products are better than ever, our employees are more engaged than ever, customers are extraordinarily loyal; and, importantly, costs are down, not up, dispelling the myth that sustainability is expensive. That's the story you'll find in more detail in this book.

More About the Author

The story is now legend; the "spear in the chest" epiphany Ray Anderson experienced when he first read Paul Hawken's, "The Ecology of Commerce" seeking inspiration for a speech to an Interface task force on the company's environmental vision. Fifteen years and a sea change later, Interface, Inc., is more than half way to it's target of "Mission Zero," the journey no one would have imagined for the company, or the petroleum-intensive industry of carpet manufacturing, which has been forever changed by Ray's vision. His Georgia-based company, Interface, Inc., was recently ranked number one in a GlobeScan survey of sustainability experts. The once captain of industry has eschewed his luxury car for a Prius and built an off-the-grid home, authored a 1998 book chronicling his epiphany, "Mid-Course Correction," and has a new book chronicling his journey, "Confessions of a Radical Industrialist," published by St. Martin's Press. He has become an unlikely screen hero in the 2004 Canadian documentary, "The Corporation" and was named one of TIME International's "Heroes of the Environment" in 2007. He's a sought after speaker and advisor on all issues eco, including a stint as co-chairman of the President's Council on Sustainable Development and as an architect of the Presidential Climate Action Plan, a 100 day action plan on climate that was presented to the Obama Administration.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter on July 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If only the world had more Ray Andersons. The fact that he turned a company reliant on the use of petrochemicals for the production of its core product into one with sustainability as its core ideaology and was abel to improve his profits is outstanding. Any and every company can learn something from this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jay Wong on June 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
wonderful set of mini success stories amidst Interfaces' great transformation. Examples ranging from metrics to HR strats, partnerships, and more.
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By Michael S. on May 29, 2014
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Ray Anderson figured out how to make a LOT of money without destroying the world or doing anything dishonest. Is there only one of him in the business world today? Shameful.
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By Amos on March 16, 2014
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Should a great read on sustainability. Any business student can pick this up and relate to Mr. Anderson. Shows you that the sustainability case can be sucessful.
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