Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sustainability makes business sense and carpet maker Ray Anderson proves it!

There has been a belief, no, more than that, a set-in-stone assumption among many business people that a company can either maximize profits OR go green. It was a clear either-or statement. Or so it was thought.

Carpet company owner Ray Anderson has turned that equation on its head. His company's change from one of the worst offenders in environmental pollution and net carbon impact, to one of the stars of the new green business model. The numbers tell his story:

  • Net greenhouse gases, down 82%
  • Water usage, down 70% on average across all product types
  • Fossil fuel usage, down 60% per unit of product

  • Products now use 25% recycled materials
  • Production uses 27% renewable energy

And in the midst of all these changes, what has happened to sales and profits?

  • Sales have increased by 66%
  • Profits are up 200%
  • Avoidable costs saved of $400 million have paid for all the changes in production and materials

Not satisfied with these numbers, nor with the success of the new eco-friendly line, FLOR, Anderson has set a goal of zero carbon footprint for his company by the year 2020.

Sustainability has come of age in the business world!