In 1994, at age sixty and in his company’s twenty-second year, our late founder and Chairman Ray Anderson steered Interface on a new course – one designed to reduce our environmental footprint while not compromising financial business goals. His bold new vision was to create the first enterprise to become truly sustainable. “Be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the entire world what sustainability is in all its dimensions: people, process, product, place and profits,” he charged, “and in doing so, become restorative through the power of influence.”
Ray challenged us to make history rather than just making carpet, and our entire company unified around this ambitious goal. A passion for sustainability took hold with our people, and our company was transformed. Mission Zero® – our promise to eliminate any negative impact we may have on the environment by 2020 – is now so deeply embedded in our culture that it has caused a momentous shift in the way we operate our business and in how we see the world.
Europe to Zero
In Europe, implementing Mission Zero is leading to impressive results. By making many steps, both big and small, we have been able to reduce (in 2015) our carbon footprint per square metre of produced carpet by 98%, and our water usage by 93%, since 1996, all while growing the business. Our European manufacturing facilities operate on 95% renewable energy and send zero waste to landfill across Europe.
New industrial model
We have collaborated with leading strategy advisor Lavery/Pennell to codify the strategies we employ to continually improve in the report "Greater profits, more jobs and reduced environmental impact".