From Publishers Weekly
In 1994, after reading Paul Hawken's The Ecology of Commerce, carpet mogul Anderson decided to make his carpet company Interface, established in 1973, the first company to achieve 100 percent sustainability, a massively successful effort that has made him a sought-after business consultant (clients include Walmart) as well as an environmental hero. 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. Interface developed processes for recycling old carpets, invented a leased carpet program (too much ahead of its time, admits Anderson), utilized the work of indigenous peoples, switched over to solar and other alternative energy sources, reduced water use and contamination, and, in 2007, even managed to achieve negative net greenhouse gas emissions. What is even more impressive is that Interface achieved this globally-not just in the U. S.-while growing profits. Unfortunately, Anderson is far less compelling when he turns his focus from Interface to leadership strategies, stumbling through the banalities of corporate spirituality and the Golden Rule. Still, the story of Anderson's commitment to green practices and the wild success he achieved is fascinating, instructive, and very timely.
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"Ray Anderson with his team has transformed Interface, Inc. in one of the best cases of sustainability. All employees led by him were committed with the 'climb of Sustainability Mountain', as he says, and believed the challenge was possible. Throughout the book, Anderson reinforces that the concept 'I have financial success or I have environmental success' is not true and I truly believe in it. Besides all the skepticism, he shows us that everybody, from the CEO to the homeowners, can be part of this movement of building a new society. This is the main role of this book: to prove this is possible!"--Fabio Barbosa, President, Grupo Santander Brasil
"Ray Anderson is a personal inspiration for me and for anyone trying to find their way in this new world of green business. He may be ‘radical’ but he’s also a profit-seeking businessman. Confessions
tells an amazing first-hand story of a personal and business transformation, a journey from being a cold-eyed capitalist to being…a cold-eyed capitalist, but just with a much larger perspective on what profitable really means. Ray has found a new path that’s good for the planet and great
for his business. He’s showing the world how it’s done yet again."--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 in this world, but if hope is to be credible and trustworthy, it has to walk a straight line to reality. No one does this better than Ray Anderson.” –Paul Hawken, author of Ecology of Commerce, Natural Capitalism, and Blessed Unrest
“Anyone who thinks that business leadership on environmental sustainability is an oxymoron must read Confessions of a Radical Industrialist. In a humble, inspiring and informative manner, Ray Anderson describes his own journey to not just tweak the edges of his business towards green goals but to fundamentally re-think and re-design every aspect of its operations to respect environmental limits.
My only hesitation is that we cannot clone Ray Anderson…or perhaps we can? Let’s hope that Confessions of a Radical Industrialist becomes required reading in all business, industrial design, and economics classes so that our next generation of business leaders continue in the direction that Anderson has begun.” --Annie Leonard, author of The Story of Stuff
"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 of a good man. We sure do need more radical industrialists ."--Jonathan Lash, President of World Resources Institute
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.