In the late 90’s I was working as a salesman for a contractor in Melbourne. One of our suppliers was Interface and we were lucky enough to be invited to a breakfast meeting with Ray and Paul Hawken. In reality it wasn’t so much the sustainability speech but the man himself, there was always something special about Ray in person; I decided then and there I wanted to work for this company built by Ray Anderson.
In 2000 I secured a position with Interface in Melbourne, Australia. For me this was about selling carpet not the environment. But, as Ray used to say, sustainability is part of Interface’s DNA – and over time one’s awareness of the issues grows as does your understanding of the uniqueness of Interface and its journey up Ray’s mountain – Mount Sustainability. His vision was, and still is, so powerful it has influenced people throughout the world.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet Ray a number of times since I joined Interface and I was always amazed with his memory of and interest in the people he met. For me he was a “sustainable businessman” always conscious of the next order – the lifeblood of the company yet always focused on doing well by doing good.
All I can say is thank you Ray for the vision to build Interface and the vision to challenge us to climb a mountain. You will live on through us and what you have and will inspire us to do. Farewell.
Nigel Signal, Sustainability Manager, Asia