Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Ray Anderson - A True Pioneer

At last night's Guardian Sustainable Business Awards, I was delighted to see Ray Anderson of Interface honoured with a posthumous Outstanding Achievement Award. Ray was one of the best-known pioneers of sustainable business and his influence was certainly a factor in getting sustainability onto corporate agendas. So what made him so successful? In the citation, reference was made to Ray's charm, courage and truthfulness, but accepting the award on his behalf Interface's John Bradford added a fourth vital ingredient: competitiveness.

There is no doubting Ray's genuine motivation to stop his business robbing future generations of the right to a bright future but in my view what made him so influential was that he understood the power of sustainability for competitive advantage. He knew that by doing right, Interface could also perform better as a business, thereby shifting the focus of the green debate from the sandal wearers to the suits. His book, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, should be essential reading for all executives. His contribution will not be forgotten.

No comments: