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A Green Champion Comes to Providence

There is a lot of chatter about business going green. A lot of bloviating, to put it bluntly.

But if you'd like to see the real thing, hop on your locally built, 100% recycled, organic bicycle and make your way to the Rhode Island Convention Center in downtown Providence to hear Ray Anderson, chairman of Interface Carpets talk about his eco-journey. Register here for the free talk, which runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. From the Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living, which is sponsoring the event:

The story is now legend; the “spear in the chest” epiphany Ray Anderson experienced when he first read Paul Hawken’s “The Ecology of Commerce” seeking inspiration for a speech on the company’s environmental vision.  Fifteen years and a sea change later, Interface, Inc., is half-way towards the vision of “Mission Zero,” the journey no one would have imagined for the company or the petroleum-intensive industry of carpet manufacturing which has been forever changed by Anderson’s vision.  Mission Zero is the company’s promise to eliminate any negative impact it may have on the environment, by the year 2020, through the redesign of processes and products, the pioneering of new technologies, and efforts to reduce or eliminate waste and harmful emissions while increasing the use of renewable materials and sources of energy. 

The once captain of industry, now environmentalist, has authored a book chronicling his journey, “Mid-Course Correction,” and become an unlikely screen hero in the 2004 Canadian documentary, “The Corporation.”  He’s a sought after speaker and advisor on all issues eco, including a stint as co-chairman of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development.  He was named one of TIME International’s Heroes for the Environment in 2007.

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