Ray Anderson on TED

Ray Anderson, the CEO of Interface carpets, talks about making business sustainable for 'tomorrow's child', and about the false choice between the environment and the economy illustrated by Interface's success in transforming a petroleum-intensive company into an innovative and inspiring leader in closed-loop design and company-wide sustainability:

"Costs are down not up, reflecting some 400 million dollars of avoided cost in pursuit of zero waste ... this has paid all the costs of the transformation of Interface ... and dispels a myth of this false choice between the environment and the economy. Our products are the best they've ever been, inspired by design for sustainability."

He finishes with this poem by one of his staff members, Glenn Thomas,

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 sobering 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.