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Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist: How a CEO Doubled Earnings, Inspired Employees and Created Innovation from One Simple Idea Paperback – March 29, 2011
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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.
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
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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The audiobook is narrated by Anderson which would be cool if it weren't for his thick southern accent.
He had some cool ideas such as with his cool blue carpet tiles and the industrial glue he uses on buildings.
Overall the takeaway from this book can be summed up by the following: Use less raw materials (or overall materials), reduce waste in all forms, recycle, and wrote a book about how smart you are.