This is an inspirational talk discussing how a company can be profitable - perhaps even more so - by focusing on a business model that embraces principles of sustainability. It proves that making the imperative decisions to change our habits are NOT anti business, no matter how some people argue otherwise. Innovation and responsibility should be the key to a successful company, not antiquated business practices and stiff regulations holding back your competition. I believe, if more CEOs and other people with corporate power followed this line of thinking our economy would be stronger, consumers would have access to better products, and our world would be safer, cleaner, and more beautiful.
At his carpet company, Ray Anderson has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional "take / make / waste" industrial system on its head. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.
From his TED.COM profile:
Ray Anderson is the founder of Interface, the company that makes those adorable Flor carpet tiles (as well as lots of less whizzy but equally useful flooring and fabric). He was a serious carpet guy, focused on building his company and making great products. Then he read Paul Hawken's book The Ecology of Commerce. Something clicked: with his company's global reach and manufacturing footprint, he was in a position to do something very real, very important, in building a sustainable world.
Anderson focused the company's attention on sustainable decisionmaking, taking a hard look at suppliers, manufacturing processes, and the beginning-to-end life cycle of all its products. (For example: If you can't find a place to recycle a worn or damaged Flor tile, Interface invites you to send it back to them and they'll do it for you.) They call this drive Mission Zero: "our promise to eliminate any negative impact our company may have on the environment by the year 2020."