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Interface maintains their lead at the top

When it comes to environmental thinking, it’s almost impossible to top Interface.

This is a company that really thinks ahead, and has one of the boldest plans out there on business sustainability.

One wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, try to compare them with Unilever, who I have also praised today on this blog as being the most engaged firm of their size.

Inteface, a much smaller firm than Unilever, is a totally different, but equally impressive, kettle of fish.

As a business-to-business company with a much more limited product portfolio and extraordinary leadership, they have carved out a unique position for themselves as the most-admired company in the space.

Their latest aim is to “obtain third-party validated environmental product declarations (EPDs) on all InterfaceFLOR products globally by 2012”, according to the company.

For more on EPDs, and why they matter, listen to this podcast, or read this article or read this debate summary.

A recent online debate on the topic (which Interface sponsored) is at this link.

The company has also today published a new report sharing some of the lessons they have learned during their sixteen year journey, to “climb Mount sustainability” as their founder Ray Anderson put it to me last year in this podcast. The report is sure to make fascinating reading for anyone in the sustainability/CR space.

I don’t normally reproduce stats, or any copy, from corporate press releases, but in this case I have to make an exception. Here’s some astonishing figures on Interface’s environmental achievements over the last fifteen years:

– Since 1996, the company has reduced net greenhouse gas emissions by 94 percent.

– Interface has achieved $433 million in avoided waste cost since 1995.

– Interface has diverted over 100,000 tons of material from landfills

Not bad. In your dark moments, when you feel the sustainability agenda is simply not moving anywhere near fast enough, Interface’s achievements serve to remind you of just what can be achieved with the right leadership.

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