Interface has always been about change. We produced the first carpet tile over fifty years ago and introduced them to the United States in the seventies. In 1994, our founder Ray Anderson had a realisation that business needed to change from ‘take-make-waste’ to a circular model. That meant turning a petroleum-intensive carpet manufacturer into the world’s first environmentally sustainable, and ultimately restorative, company.
If we’re successful, we’ll spend the rest of our days harvesting yester-year’s carpets and other petrochemically derived products, and recycling them into new materials; and converting sunlight into energy; with zero scrap going to the landfill and zero emissions into the ecosystem. And we’ll be doing well... very well... by doing good. That’s the vision. – Ray Anderson, 1997.
We bundled our ambitions in Mission Zero®, our promise to eliminate any negative impact our company has on the environment by 2020. To achieve our goal, we had to radically redesign our company, our products and the way we do business. Since 1994 we've achieved great things, but we're working hard to keep improving.
We've replaced latex in our precoat with recycled PVB. Our Net-Works® programme harvests discarded fishing nets, that are then recycled into new yarn. And our factories have made amazing progress by using green energy and running more efficiently.
A new mission
With our Mission Zero goal in sight, we have started to look beyond 2020. We are proud of our achievements over the last twenty years, but it's not enough. It has become clear that humans have the power to change our whole planet, and that came as a bit of a surprise. We believe the biggest threat to the world isn’t climate change, it’s attitude.
We’ve got the tools, we've got the ingenuity and we've got billions of people who need a climate fit for life. We call our new challenge Climate Take Back, and it is much bigger than Interface. We'll need all the help we can get to turn climate change from negative to positive.