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The business logic of sustainability - Ray Anderson

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At his carpet company, Ray Anderson has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional "take / make / waste" industrial system on its head. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.

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Here's the May 24, 1999 Fortune Magazine article By Gwen Kinkead Reporter Associate Eileen P. Gun titled In the Future, People Like Me Will Go to Jail Ray Anderson is on a mission to clean up American businesses--starting with his own. Can a Georgia carpet mogul save the planet? This article is referenced in Anderson's TED Talk.Anderson mentions a book by Paul Hawken, the entrepreneur behind the Smith & Hawken gardening supplies empire. In it, we find that Hawken is no ordinary capitalist. Drawing as much on Baba Ram Dass and Vaclav Havel as he does on Peter Drucker and WalMart for his case studies, Hawken is on a one-man crusade to reform our economic system by demanding that First World businesses reduce their consumption of energy and resources by 80 percent in the next 50 years. As if that weren't enough, Hawken argues that business goals should be redefined to embrace such fuzzy categories as whether the work is aesthetically pleasing and the employees are having fun; this applies to corporate giants and mom-and-pop operations alike. He proposes a culture of business in which the real world, the natural world, is allowed to flourish as well, and in which the planet's needs are addressed. Wall Street may not be ready for Hawken's provocative brand of environmental awareness, but this fine book is full of captivating ideas.Here's Anderson's company website, Interface. Here's the home carpeting website, Flor.With the same humor and humanity he exuded in An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore spells out 15 ways that individuals can address climate change immediately, from buying a hybrid to inventing a new, hotter "brand name" for global warming.
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