Magazine article Management Today

Green Business Awards 2010: Overall Environmental Management - Winner InterfaceFLOR

Magazine article Management Today

Green Business Awards 2010: Overall Environmental Management - Winner InterfaceFLOR

Article excerpt

Hundreds of organisations have adopted environmentally friendly strategies and programmes in recent years, but when it comes to measuring ambition few if any could compete with flooring manufacturer InterfaceFLOR.

In 1994, inspired by a philosophy called the Natural Step, the company's chairman, Ray Anderson, launched a bold mission: to become the first company anywhere to be fully sustainable, with no negative impacts on the environment from its people, process or products. The goal became known as Mission Zero, and the timescale for achieving it was set at 2020.

Since then, Mission Zero has morphed from a vision into a transformation programme that reaches into every corner of the company's business and operations. It influences every business, manufacturing and design decision that Interface makes and is embedded in the company's approach to people, processes, products and profit. Mission Zero has led Interface to change its business model to make reducing environmental impacts a key driver not just in making investment decisions, but also in working with its supply chain.

The Mission Zero initiative has seven fronts, which range from eliminating waste and using wholly renewable energy to maximising recycling and using resource-efficient transport. More unusually, Interface rewards its people for saving energy rather than increasing output.

The programme is systematic in its nature; a quarterly EcoMetrics report measures progress on vectors such as waste reduction, carbon emissions, water and energy usage; while a Sociometrics report measures environmental awareness, education, stakeholder engagement and outreach. …

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