Is it possible to be a part of big business and a citizen of the earth at the same time? Get a primer on these issues in “Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose—Doing Business by Respecting the Earth” (St. Martin’s Press, 2010) by Ray C. Anderson with Robin White. The book, reviewed in Organization & Environment’s September 2012 issue by Linda C. Forbes of Western Connecticut State University, offers a “compelling” personal tale:
Ray Anderson’s story of his company, Interface, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of carpet tiles, is a compelling one. It ranks among the most legendary and notable of our time. In 1994, in response to a simple, but critical question about what his company was doing for the environment, Anderson had an epiphanal experience. He had been given and read Paul Hawken’s Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability (1993). So moved was Anderson that he set a course not only to change how his company did business, but also to establish Interface as a leader in a far-reaching campaign for sustainable enterprise. Self-convicted in this book and elsewhere as a “plunderer, a destroyer of the earth, a thief of my grandchildren’s future” (p. 8), Anderson documented the challenges of and the progress made toward achieving a goal of “Mission Zero” (zero footprint) at Interface.