Carpet Magnate Ray Anderson Wins Environmental Prize
Ray C. Anderson has been named the recipient of the 2001 George and Cynthia Mitchell International
Prize for Sustainable Development. Anderson, a Georgia Institute of Technology graduate, is the
founder and chairman of Atlanta-based carpet manufacturer Interface Inc.Anderson declared war on
waste in products and processes at his commercial carpet company and was chosen for the award
because he is an individual in the corporate setting who has made corporate sustainable development
activities possible. The prize was established by Houston businessman and philanthropist George P.
Mitchell and his wife, Cynthia, to recognize outstanding contributions to sustainable development.
Anderson was presented with the award at the Woodlands Conference organized by the Houston Advanced
Research Center. This is only the seventh time since 1974 that the prize has been awarded. Ray
Anderson is a pioneer in using innovative approaches to change past practices and to eliminate
waste, said Mitchell. His vision of how sustainable technology can be used as a core principle in
doing business is exemplary.Anderson instituted an innovative program to transform Interface first
by making it a sustainable company in all practices and eventually to make it a restorative company
one that returns to the earth more than it takes. Interface has undertaken more than 400
sustainability initiatives, including the design of new carpets and fabrics that are 100-percent
recyclable at the end of their use.