Ray Anderson Continues to Inspire

I had the pleasure of hearing Ray Anderson, Chairman of Interface Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet, speak yesterday at the Canadian Business for Social Responsibility Annual Summit. I wish there were more role model organization’s like Interface. Interface’s goal is to be not only sustainable, but a truly restorative enterprise by the year 2020, that does no harm to the earth or its people. 

Interface was the first company in North America to adopt the Natural Step Framework, which they use to define “Mount Sustainability” and guide them on their journey to Mission Zero.  Ray says they’re about 60% of the way there and the achievements they’ve made over the past decade are truly impressive. Learn more by listening to Ray on Ted Talks or visit the Interface website.

I found myself touched yesterday by a poem Ray often shares in his talks and it speaks to the heart of all our efforts in making the world a more sustainable place to live work and play. It’s called Tomorrow’s Child, written by Glenn Thomas, one of Interface’s employees:  

Tomorrow’s Child
Without a name, an unseen face
and knowing not your time nor place
Tomorrow’s Child, though yet unborn,
I met you first last Tuesday morn.

A wise friend introduced us two,
and through his shining point of view
I saw a day that you would see,
a day for you, but not for me.

Knowing you has changed my thinking,
for I never had an inkling
That perhaps the things I do
might someday, somehow, threaten you.

Tomorrow’s Child, my daughter-son
I’m afraid I’ve just begun
To think of you and of your good,
Though always having known I should.

Begin I will to weigh the cost
of what I squander, what is lost
If ever I forget that you
will someday come to live here too.