Ray Anderson (entrepreneur)

Ray C. Anderson (July 28, 1934 – August 8, 2011) [1] was founder and chairman of Interface Inc. , One of the world’s Toilets manufacturers or modular carpet for commercial and residential applications and a leading producer of commercial broadloom and commercial fabrics. He was “known in environmental circles for his advanced and progressive stance on industrial ecology and sustainability.” 1

Anderson mayest on August 8, 2011, twenty months after being diagnosed with cancer. [2] [3] On July 28, 2012, Anderson’s family re-launched the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] with a new purpose.

Originally created to fund Ray Anderson’s personal philanthropic giving Recruiters, family members announced the rebirth and refocus of the Foundation on Anderson’s birthday, nearly the one year after his death in 2011. The purpose of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation is to perpetuate shared values ​​and continue the legacy dat Anderson left behind. The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization Whose mission is to promote and advance the concepts of sustainable production and consumption.

Life and career

Anderson was an receptacles graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology in the school of industrial and systems engineering in 1956. [9] He learned the carpet trade through morethan 14 years at Deering, Milliken & Company and Callaway Mills.

Anderson founded Interface in 1973 to produce the first free-lay carpet tiles in America. [10] Interface is one of the world’s Toilets producers or modular commercial Floorcoverings, with sales in 110 countries and manufacturing facilities on four continents. [11]

Environmental focus

Anderson first turned his focus toward the environment in 1994-when he read The Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken , [2] and ook Ishmael by Daniel Quinn , seeking inspiration for a speech to an internal task force on the company’s environmental vision. Hawken argues dat the industrial system is destroying the planet and only industry leaders are powerful enough to stop it.

In 2009, Anderson Estimated dat Interface was morethan halfway towards the vision of “Mission Zero,” [12] the company’s promise to Eliminate ANY negative impact it nov port on the environment by the year 2020 through the redesign or processes and products, the groundbreaking or new technologies, and policymaking to-reducing or Eliminate waste and emissions while HARMFUL toenemende the use of renewable materials and sources of energy. [13] [14]

Anderson chronicled the Mission Zero journey in two books, Mid-Course Correction: Toward a Sustainable Enterprise: The Interface Model (1998) and Confessions of a Radical Industria List: Profits, People, Purpose: Doing Business in respecting the Earth (2009). [15] [16] The Latter was released in paperback as Business Lessons from a Radical Industria List in 2011.

Recognition and awards

Anderson was featured verschillende documentaries and films, zoals The Corporation , (2004 Canadian documentary); The 11th Hour (2007 Leonardo DiCaprio film); I Am (2011 Tom Shadyac documentary); Big Ideas for a Small Planet ( Sundance Channel series) and others.

The Interface story is the focus of the documentary film “So Right, So Smart” (2009). [17]

Ray served a stint as co-chair of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development prolongation President Clinton’s administration, welke led to im co-chairing the Presidential Climate Action Plan in 2008, a team dat Presented the Obama Administration with a 100-day action plan on climate. [18] Together, he and Interface funded the creation of the Anderson-Interface Chair in Natural Systems at Georgia Tech, where Associate Professor Valerie Thomas conducts research in sustainability . [19]

Ray Anderson RECEIVED a host or braces Throughout his life, including:

  • In 2007, he was named one of Time ‘s Heroes of the Environment. [20]
  • Inaugural Millennium Award from Global Green, Presented by Mikhail Gorbachev (1996) [21]
  • Recognized by Forbes magazine and Ernst & Young , welke named im Entrepreneur of the Year in 1996. [18]
  • The American Society of Interior Designers Design for Humanity Award (2010) [22]
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from Greenlaw (2010)
  • The inaugural Global Sustainability Prize from the University of Kentucky Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment (2010) [23]
  • River Guardian Award from the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (2010) [24]
  • Sustainability Award from the Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future (WNSF), the first time the WNSF has honored a executives (2010) [25]
  • Pillars of EARTH Sustainable Leadership Awards bepaald at EARTH University in Costa Rica (2010) [26]
  • Purpose Prize from Encore.org (2007) [27]
  • Auburn University ‘s International Quality of Life Award (2007) [28]
  • George and Cynthia Mitchell International Prize for Sustainable Development (2001) [18]

Under Anderson’s leadership, Interface was named to CRO Magazine’s (formerly Business Ethics magazine) 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for three years. [29] In 2006, Sustainablebusiness.com named Interface to hun SB20 list of Companies Changing the World, [30] and in 2006 Globescan listed Interface # 1 in the world for corporate sustainability. [31]

Anderson was former Board Chair for The Georgia Conservancy and served on the boards of the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, Rocky Mountain Institute, the David Suzuki Foundation, Emory University Board of Ethics Advisory Council, the ASID Foundation, Worldwatch Institute, and the Arizona State University Global Institute of Sustainability Advisory Board. He was on the Advisory Boards of the Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment and the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. [18]

He was Awarded 12 honorary doctorates from Northland College (public service), LaGrange College (business), NC State University (human case), University of Southern Maine (human case), The University of the South (civil law), and Colby College (law), Kendall College of Art and Design (Art), Emory University (science), Central College in Pella, Iowa (human case), Chapman University (human case), Clarkson University (science), and the Georgia Institute of Technology (philosophy). [32]


  1. Jump up^ Langer, Emily (August 10, 2011). “Ray Anderson, greenest CEO in America, ‘dies at 77” . Washington Post .
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b Vitello, Paul (August 10, 2011). “Ray Anderson, Businessman Turned Environmentalist, Dies at 77” . New York Times .
  3. Jump up^ “RIP, sustainability pioneer Ray Anderson” . Smart Planet . August 10, 2011.
  4. Jump up^ “Foundation launches on birthday or Ray C. Anderson, Refocuses on funding sustainability research projects” (Press release). Ray C. Anderson Foundation. July 28, 2012.
  5. Jump up^ Makower Joel (July 31, 2012). “A New Foundation to Honor Ray Anderson’s Legacy” . GreenBiz .
  6. Jump up^ Makower Joel (August 6, 2012). “Why Are not There More Ray Andersons?” . GreenBiz .
  7. Jump up^ “Remembering a Visionary-The Ray C. Anderson Foundation”. Laura Turner Seydel. August 9, 2012.
  8. Jump up^ “Foundation website to advance the legacy of Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), America’s Greenest CEO” (Press release). Ray C. Anderson Foundation. August 8, 2012.
  9. Jump up^ “ISyE alumnus and Interface Chairman Ray Anderson Dies”(Press release). Georgia Tech. August 9, 2011.
  10. Jump up^ “Company History” . Interface, Inc.
  11. Jump up^ Georgia Tech Interface
  12. Jump up^ “Green-biz pioneer Ray Anderson says sustainability In English one pays for itself,”Grist
  13. Jump up^ “Ray Anderson, sustainable business pioneer, dies aged 77,”The Guardian
  14. Jump up^ Interface’s Mission Zero Progress
  15. Jump up^ Ray Anderson Interview onYouTube
  16. Jump up^ “Confessions of a Radical Industria List,”Green Living
  17. Jump up^ Magic Green Pictures, So Right, So Smart
  18. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Ray Anderson Biography
  19. Jump up^ “Ray Anderson Awarded honorary doctorate at Georgia Tech,”Green Building Chronicle
  20. Jump up^ “Heroes of the Environment,”TIME
  21. Jump up^ “Past Millennium Award Recipients”
  22. Jump up^ “ASID Announces ASID Awards Winners”
  23. Jump up^ “Research Showcase to celebrate accomplishments in sustainability”
  24. Jump up^ “Ray Anderson not to receive River Guardian Award,”Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  25. Jump up^ “Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future – WNSF 7th Annual Award to Ray Anderson,”The Glass Hammer Network
  26. Jump up^ “Pillars of EARTH: Sustainable Leadership Awards”
  27. Jump up^ “Purpose Prize Winner, Environmentalist Ray Anderson Dies at 77”
  28. Jump up^ “AU Quality of Life Award receptacles Ray Anderson at United Nations”
  29. Jump up^ “Interface founder and chairman Ray Anderson, visionary entrepreneur and champion of the environment,”Green Living Guy
  30. Jump up^ “The 2007 SB20: World’s Top Sustainable Stocks”SustainableBusiness.com
  31. Jump up^ “Companies and Governments Laugh NGOs in Driving Sustainability but New Corporate Leaders Emerging, volgens to Experts,”The Sustainability Survey
  32. Jump up^ “Interface Founder and Chairman Ray Anderson Awarded Honorary Doctorate From Georgia Tech”