Ray Anderson at Tech for Book Signing on Oct. 12

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Ray C. Anderson, a prominent 1956 graduate of the Stewart School of ISyE and the founder and CEO of Interface Inc., will be at the Georgia Tech Barnes & Nobles Bookstore at 5:00pm on Monday, October 12, for a book signing to promote Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, his latest book about sustainability and environmental challenges in the 21st century.

Written by the poet-laureate of industrial ecology, Radical Industrialist is the true, wise, and open-hearted story of how one man took on the myriad environmental problems we face today and created one of the greenest companies in the world. Founded in 1973 in LaGrange, Georgia, Interface claims to be the world's largest manufacturer of modular carpet for commercial and residential applications and the first company in the United States to manufacture free-lay carpet tiles.

After reading Paul Hawken's The Ecology of Commerce, Anderson had a revelation that led him to transform his company from a polluter to a world leader on matters of sustainability and the environment. Since 1994, Interface has focused on reducing its petroleum consumption and dematerializing its product development processes through digital means. Today, Interface has completed approximately half of Anderson's extraordinary vision called "Mission Zero," a promise to eliminate any negative impact on the environment by 2020 through the redesign of processes and products, the pioneering of new technologies, the reduction and elimination of waste, and the adoption of renewable materials and sources of energy.

"This reduced footprint is reflected in every product that Interface makes anywhere on Earth, not just one here and one there," Anderson said. "This company further believes it will become restorative, putting back on balance more than it takes from earth and doing good for Earth, not just no harm."

Anderson's company has been features in the documentaries The Corporation, and The 11th Hour as well as in The New York Times, Fortune, Fast Company, and many other publications. He was named one of Time magazine's Heroes of the Environment and one of's Top 15 Green Business Leaders in 2007, and he has received the Purpose Prize from Civic Ventures. He was also co-chair of the President's Council on Sustainable Development in addition to co-chair of the Presidential Climate Action Project. He has been brilliant as an executive, but he has been startling as a leader who has used his company's experience to teach hundreds of thousands of business people and students that we can completely re-imagine our industrial systems today and do it profitably, competitively, and without compromise.

Anderson is an also ardent contributor to the Stewart School of ISyE, and he supports Associate Professor Valerie Thomas's research in sustainability through the Anderson-Interface Chair in Natural Systems.


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