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Interface Carpet's 'Second Industrial Revolution'

Interface Carpet's 'Second Industrial Revolution'

Interface Carpets hopes to spur a Second Industrial Revolution, where corporations takes responsibility for environmental impact of their products.

November 18, 2007 —

Interface Carpet founder and committed environmentalist Ray Anderson was recently interviewed on NRP’s Marketplace, where he explained his intention of eliminating oil from his company’s production process.  One of the largest carpet companies in the world, Interface is at the cutting edge of corporate responsibility and sustainability.

Anderson founded Interface in the early 1970s, but it was not until the 1990s that he considered the environmental impact of his company.  He speaks of the second Industrial Revolution in which corporations take responsibility for their products.  Anderson explained, “It’s about resource efficiency, rather than labor efficiency [of the first industrial revolution].”

Interface has a remarkable goal: zero environmental impact.  The company attempts to use only renewable energy and materials.  Anderson also hopes to rent, not sell, carpets to corporate clients.  When the carpets wear out, the client would return it and allow Interface to recycle the material. 

Interface has reportedly saved more than $300 million in energy efficiency and waste reduction.  Interface has a number of programs, including ReEntry, a carpet reclamation program that has “diverted more than 3,000,000 yards of carpets from landfills.” 
The company’s Mission Zero is intended to remove it from having a negative impact on the environment by 2010.  Some critics believe this goal is too far away, but others marvel at the revolutionary attitude of Interface. 

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