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Mid-Course Correction: Toward a Sustainable Enterprise: The Interface Model Paperback – February, 1999
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About the Author
Ray C. Anderson is chairman and CEO of Interface, Inc., a company he founded that is the world's largest producer of commercial floorcoverings and other interior products. In recent years, Anderson has embarked on a mission to make Interface a sustainable corporation by leading a worldwide war on waste and pioneering the processes of sustainable development. The philosophy guiding Anderson's passion for this case is that it is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing, too. In 1997, Anderson was appointed co-chair of the President's Council on Sustainable Development, which advises the White House on environmental policy. In 1996 he received the inaugural Millennium Award from Mikhail Gorbechev and Global Green, and was recognized by Ernst & Young as Enterpreneur of the Year for the Southeast Region. Interface, Inc., was named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America by Fortune magazine in 1997 and 1998.
A graduate of the Georgia Instit! ute of Technology, Anderson lives with his wife, Pat, in Atlanta. He has two children and five grandchildren.
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As Anderson recounts initiatives he implemented at Interface, Anderson avoids jargon and uses language that is easy for readers to understand. He first discusses The Natural Step, a system that involves designing processes and technology that respect our ecosystem. In doing so, technology will become a resource that contributes to our environment rather than destroys it. He then discusses the Interface Model: a system incorporated into his own business which addresses every facet of sustainability. Throughout the book, Anderson touches on several other models developed by sustainability leaders. Anderson caps off his book by summarizing his Maui conference; a meeting in which his team of sustainability leaders left a lasting impression on the island of Maui.
Mid-Course Correction provides a hopeful attitude towards sustainability in business. It’s an encouraging book, and the appendix provides high-level examples on how to encourage sustainability in most organizations. Sustainability does not have to be a “pie in the sky” concept if you take charge. Despite the many examples and anecdotes, Mid-Course Correction feels like a beginner’s introduction to sustainability. Anderson could have created a more compelling argument for sustainability if he had more completely explained how these initiatives were implemented in Interface. Instead, he takes an overhead approach to the concept.. Given the book was written in the late ‘90s, there have been advances in the realm of sustainability that could be addressed in an updated edition. That’s no fault of the book, but a gripe nonetheless.
Overall, Mid-Course Correction is an enlightening read for those unfamiliar with sustainability in business. You come away feeling like sustainability is a possibility for any organization. Since Ray Anderson’s passing in 2011, Interface is still on track to become a zero-waste company by 2020. With Interface, Ray Anderson was the embodiment of a man who “practiced what he preached.”. This is a recommended read for anyone interested in the realm of sustainability, specifically on how it applies to business.
Read it now, it is a must read book, for so many reasons, if you hate it, fine, but you won't.
P.S.-this is not a road map or a technical book, more of a easy reading story.