Interface’s socially sustainable product
I had a great interview with Nigel Stansfield of Interface on Friday. I met Nigel in 2002 on Schumacher College’s now sadly defunct Business & Sustainability course*, but I didn’t realise at the time that he had been given two year’s (nearly) complete freedom to explore and understand sustainability. Nigel’s role is Senior Director of new product development – covering both incremental improvements to existing products and big step changes in product/service concepts. Note that the word sustainability doesn’t feature in his job title – it is a core role of everyone at Interface.
Interface’s commitment to sustainability is astonishing – they have the corporate goal of a zero footprint by 2020. They have recently started to get stuck into the social side, developing a new product made from sustainable materials in India where all the actors in the supply chain are assured a fair price – it would be a FairTrade product if FairTrade had a protocol for floor coverings – it really is that cutting edge. The video below describes it better than I ever could!
* I am developing plans for a similar intensive residential course for senior sustainability practitioners, but with an emphasis on sharing experience rather than being lectured by a guru – if you would be interested in such a thing, get in touch and let me know what you would like out of it.