Translations Best practice in Spanish version Best practice in French version Best practice in English version

Interface: Pioneer for a "sustainable" carpet business

4. Environment

Green design



In 1994, after becoming aware of the over-exploitation of our natural resources thanks to Paul Hawken's seminal work entitled "The ecology of commerce", Interface's founder Ray Anderson started his pioneering work for sustainable development in the petrochemical sector.


Zero negative impact on the environment by 2020: 100% use of renewable energy resources, zero greenhouse gas emissions, and zero waste.



In 1994, the company director began expressing his vision of sustainable development to staff;
5 years later, he would write out his strategy, called "Mid-Course Correction".

In 2002, the company invented the product labeled "Entropy", a series of carpet tiles featuring a selection of random patterns, whose installation combined with the imperfections due to a lack of continuity from one tile to the next actually created a unique pattern. This innovation, which significantly reduces the amount of waste, has generated tremendous commercial success. The company is now looking to promote new applications in this field, like carpet rentals and recycling after use, or new botanical components such as corn or hemp. These results however have remained limited in scope.

To compensate for carbon emissions tied to company activity, it was decided to burn methane from the waste dump site located near the Interface plant. As part of his effort to encourage the role of sustainable development, Mr. Anderson delivers talks at conferences throughout the world, with a special emphasis on student audiences.


-  Doubling in sales turnover between 1996 and 2006

- Costs (in materials, energy) lowered by $80 million


- A reduction in both solid wastes (-70%) and greenhouse gases (-46% in 10 years)

- In 2006: 12% renewable energy; 20% materials of botanical origin

- A search for exemplarity that has become "contagious"

1,3Mds dollars

Mise à jour le 30/05/2016

Creative Commons Attribution This work by Réseau Alliances – World Forum Lille is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.