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

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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.
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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: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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Format: Paperback
This is more than an excellent book. I have read both Anderson's books, including the Chinese translation of Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist. It is gratifying to witness the translation of the book into Chinese as it deserves to be read by all those who have an interest to know how business should be run in this big country.

I have been so impressed by what Ray and his company have achieved that I have the strong urge to write a book about it myself. I will use liberally the materials from all his publications and will present them in a way that would be easier for the general public, especially those from the business community, to read and understand.

I will also add a few chapters on how Ray's company, Interface, has inspired other companies to follow their example, notably Walmart. This demonstrates the Power of One, ie. how one individual, one company could make a major, disporportionate impact on the world.

It will be some time before my book will appear. In the meantime, I strongly recommend this book by Ray to anyone who wants to have a glimpse of what the corporations of the 21st century could become.
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Anderson should receive a national honor for showing how a dirty, oil based manufacturer of carpet tiles could completely transform his billion-dollar company for a major polluter and climate destroyer into a far more profitable green company.
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I had this shipped to school for my spring semester and though it took longer than estimated to get to me, i was pleasantly surprised when on the box it said "Hand made box, we recycle! Good luck this semester!" woah wasn't expecting that. The book was in great quality like the description said. This has been my best amazon experience so far!
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wonderful set of mini success stories amidst Interfaces' great transformation. Examples ranging from metrics to HR strats, partnerships, and more.
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This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to believe there is hope for cleaning up the mess we've made of our planet. Not only can we be successful in business, we can do it in a sustainable way, leaving a better planet for future generations.

I am extremly greatful for the lessons Ray learned and taught others along the way. His message gives strong evidence that any and every business can be excellent stewards of the environment.
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Good read.
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