Global thought leaders - executives, economists, academics, citizens - from all facets of our lives have been reinventing their vision of what commerce can be, and what the corporation can be.  One such leader is the Founder and Chairman of Interface Inc., Ray Anderson.  He describes the vision as, "The Next Industrial Revolution created by Corporations of the 21st Century".

Ray writes, "There is no industrial company on Earth that meets its current needs without, in some measure, depriving future generations of their means to meet theirs."
He goes on to offer his vision of the Corporation of the 21st Century. It will:
·  Have a cyclical rather than linear flow of resources and products,
·  Taking nothing from the earth,
·  'Mining' the resources from existing product,
·  Driving that process with renewable energy,
·  Having close ties to the communities, customers and suppliers with which it    works, and
·  Doing no harm to the biosphere.

The image for his particular business sounds like this:
"At Interface, we seek to become the first sustainable corporation in the world, and, following that, the first restorative company. … We look forward to the day when our factories have no smokestacks and no effluents.  If successful we'll spend the rest of our days harvesting yesteryear's carpets, recycling old petro-chemicals into new materials, and converting sunlight into energy.  There will be zero scrap going into landfills and zero emissions into the biosphere. Literally, our company will grow by cleaning up the world."
             Ray Anderson, Chairman, Interface Inc., Sustainability Report

Here's another CEO of the 21st century.
"At Alcan, we have taken an even broader view of CSR by framing our social, economic and environmental, health and safety (EHS) goals into a global sustainability approach that is directly tied to our governing objective of Maximizing Value." … "By incorporating a long-term sustainability strategy, companies can safeguard their license to operate and grow and maximize their long-term value."
                                       Travis Engen, CEO, Alcan Inc.

These CEO's are not alone.  Thousands of corporate leaders around the world have been engaged in this 21st century challenge.  Whether they are leading it or being drawn into it by the demands of the investment and consumer worlds, thousands of corporations have been ranked externally, are ranking themselves, and are engaged in improving their ranks.

And those business leaders are coming to the same conclusions our scientists are.  "The bottom line is that the human species is living more off the planet's capital and less off its interest.  That is bad business."
       Changing Course - a book by 50 Chairmen and President's of global
                   corporations asked to form the Business Council for
                     Sustainable Development, including Volkswagen,
                    Ciba-Geigy, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Northern Telecom,
                                  Royal Dutch Shell and DuPont.


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