In August 1994, Interface's Chairman and CEO, Ray Anderson, received Paul Hawken's book, The Ecology of Commerce. A few weeks later, a professor from a local university gave him a copy of Daniel Quinn's book, Ishmael. These two books not only changed Anderson's life but made him understand why it should change. Subsequently, the whole corporate culture of Interface became infused with sustainability.
Later that year, Interface committed to become the first name in industrial ecology worldwide, in substance, not just in words. Ray Anderson provided his global team with a mission to convert Interface to a restorative enterprise; first by reaching sustainability in business practices, and then becoming truly restorative-a company returning more than it takes-by helping others reach sustainability.
Interface's formal mission is to be the first company to be truly sustainable in people, process, product, place and profits by 2020, and a review of their progress report is simply dazzling.
Both Ray Anderson's profile and the company's success are must reading for every person who responds to progressive environmental solutions with the words "We can't".