The environmental climate in the 1990s? A New York Times article summed it up this way: “…midway through, the decade is shaping up as a period of turmoil for the environmental movement. Membership and budgets have dropped for most of the national groups. A well-organized countermovement of landowners, city officials and industrial executives steamed into Washington and halted Congressional work this year on strengthening environmental laws. They argued that environmentalists were exaggerating and using inconclusive data to frighten people and influence lawmakers.”
A sobering reflection, indeed. Yet at the same time, a Georgia-born industrialist was experiencing an epiphany that would change his position from a self-proclaimed “plunderer of the earth” to a global champion of corporate sustainability. It’s the story of Ray Anderson, who in 1973 founded Interface, a carpet manufacturer known for its innovation in commercial tile flooring.