Category Archives: Mission Zero: #OffOil

Claude Ouimet to speak at Build Green Atlantic

Interface

Tomorrow, May 5th, Claude Ouimet, Senior Vice President and General Manager for InterfaceFLOR in Canada and Latin America, will present his company’s vision, Mission Zero, which is InterfaceFLOR’s promise to eliminate any negative impact the company may have on the environment by 2020. This mission embraces cutting-edge philosophies such as Life Cycle Assessment and Biomimicry. InterfaceFLOR is on a mission to create a company that addresses the needs of society and the environment by developing a system of industrial production that decreases cost

s and dramatically reduces the burdens placed upon living systems. In his presentation, Claude will share how InterfaceFLOR has embraced change and is taking action to become a sustainable corporation by leading a worldwide effort to design innovative and sustainable manufacturing and development processes.

What, Where, When…?
What: BuildGreen Atlantic
Where: Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
When: Thursday, May 5, 2011 | 2:45 -3:45pm

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Nadine Gudz Discusses InterfaceFLOR’s 2011 Legacy Project

Interface

Nadine Gudz, Director of Sustainability Strategy at InterfaceFLOR, discusses InterfaceFLOR's commitment to our annual Legacy Project. This year we gave back to the lively city of New Orleans where our team worked with community organizations to helped improve the lives of NOLA residents.

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Expert Insights: Erin Meezan on New FTC Green Guidelines

Interface

Interface, Inc. VP of Sustainability Erin Meezan shares her expert insight on the new FTC Green Guidelines, and how they will impact marketers and could be improved with the inclusion of clearer guidance on proper usage of Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs).

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Are you responsible for marketing environmental products? Let us know how you've adjusted course to better align with the FTC's proposed Green Guides.

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Transparency: Be Open or Be Exposed

Lindsay James

One of my favorite Sustainability thought leaders, Gregory Unruh, recently posted Transparency: The Internet’s Killer CSR App on The CSR Blog at Forbes.  In his post, Greg explores the roots of Internet-based transparency and the business case for embracing transparency.  In his words, the Internet provides a “wave of involuntary transparency,” and businesses “can either get out in front of it or fall prey to it.”

In this day and age of Web 2.0, customers interact with a company in many different ways, well beyond the direct transaction of purchasing a product, and they can instantly share their opinions with the world.  Suddenly, customers and stakeholders have an easy way to interact, without even knowing each other, and without the company’s involvement.  One of the many implications of this is that a company’s brand is increasingly in the hands of the beholders, rather than the company itself.

What does this mean for Corporate Social Responsibility?  The increased exposure brought by the interactive internet will force companies to be more authentic in their “green” product or process claims.  With the risk of being publicly accused of greenwash increasing, companies must better align their actions with their talk.

At InterfaceFLOR, we are excited to see the approach of this wave of transparency, and we are striving to set the standard of leadership for both product-level and company-level transparency.  Our recent announcement to complete third-party audited Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for all of our products is a compelling example of our commitment to transparency, and earned a place in Joel Makower’s (another one of my favorite thought leaders) “10 Most Hopeful Green Business Stories of 2010”.

But I believe we will see much more in the realm of transparency than full disclosure of product ingredients and environmental impacts.  As we move into a world of improved transparency, we are seeing a shift from one-way corporate communications to public dialogue.  Companies will engage with stakeholders in open forums where openly questioning a corporation’s sustainability claims will be encouraged and treated with the same strategic significance as focus groups are today.  And by learning from their stakeholders’ suggestions, companies will agree that open is smarter than closed.

Open is Smarter than Closed

I can share a recent example of this type of transparency.  At our 2010 Greenbuild booth we solicited input for how to be Smarter than Oil, and we discovered a wellspring of inspiration from attendees.  By the end of Greenbuild, we not only enjoyed a crowdsourced perspective on our Off Oil mission, but we also benefited from an opportunity to engage deeply with our stakeholders.  This small example is just the tip of the iceberg for the potential benefits from improved transparency.

In the spirit of public discourse, I’d love to hear what you, our readers, think about increasing corporate transparency.

What do you think are the implications of this trend? What kind of transparency do you expect from sustainability leaders like InterfaceFLOR?

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From Extraction to End-of-Life: Life Cycle Assessments

Interface

Interface, Inc. Director of Corporate LCA Programs, Connie Hensler, explains the background and history of Life Cycle Assessments and how we're using this measurement tool at InterfaceFLOR to reduce our environmental impact and receive Environmental Product Declarations on our products.

Are you using LCAs for your organization or products? Share how these measurements have helped you also reduce your impact below.

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