Ray Anderson: The Business Logic of Sustainability

Ray Anderson is a self-professed plunderer turned recovering plunderer. After reading Paul Hawken’s book, The Ecology of Commerce, Anderson made a decision to change the way he operated his business. His company, Interface, manufactured Flor carpet tiles and was in the unique position of making a real difference in how business and industry impact the environment.

When Anderson first read Hawken’s book in 1994, business and industry were the major culprits in the decline of the biosphere. At that point, he found himself at a crossroads. “We have a choice to make during our brief visit to this beautiful blue and green living planet: to hurt it or to help it.” Anderson decided to lead his company in a direction that would diminish environmental impact and seek an alternative to the pattern of take-make-and-waste to which society had grown accustomed. In this 2009 TED Talk, Anderson explains how he helped the environment while simultaneously increasing profits and sales.

Want more Ted Talks? Check out last week’s: JD Schramm: Break the Silence for Suicide Attempt Survivors