Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Interface Launches Sustainability Consulting Practice

ATLANTA, Sept. 26, 2006 - Carpet company Interface, Inc. has launched InterfaceRAISE, a corporate consulting resource that will amplify Interface's efforts to educate others seeking to implement the necessary steps for becoming sustainable.

Having already piloted the InterfaceRAISE concept with leaders at Wal-Mart, General Mills, Sara Lee and NASA, Interface has taken another sizeable step in its mission to "lead others forward through the power of its influence," sharing best practices and tailoring its own tools for successful application in numerous other industries.

"This new Interface business was formed in keeping with Interface's desire to share its passion for sustainability with others, a formalization of what we have been doing for years," said Neel Bradham, vice president of business development, Interface, Inc. "At a time when historic trends are reshaping the competitive landscape and encouraging more businesses to take notice, InterfaceRAISE provides the ideal platform for educating stakeholders on the full scope of sustainability and its virtues for adding value to the bottom line."

As the name implies, InterfaceRAISE was founded to "raise" awareness and reinforce the importance of integrating sustainability into core business strategy. To achieve its transformative potential, sustainability must be embedded into business, rather than bolted on as a sideline. While such an approach certainly helps reduce negative impacts on the environment, it also offers significant opportunity to "raise" business value in terms of enterprise reputation, cost reduction, access to talent, associate engagement and innovation.

Andy Ruben, vice president for corporate strategy and sustainability at Wal- Mart, acknowledges, "People and companies need to look at their ability to make change in the world. Interface has value for being a living model that continues to evolve its sustainability practice. Their influence is their journey, and the length of their journey, and at what depth the company integrated sustainability and change. That has influence."

Doug McMillon, President and Chief Executive Officer of SAM'S CLUB, observes, "Visiting Interface and seeing the creativity applied to establish more sustainable practices made it undeniable that the rest of us can do the same. We don't have to spend time wondering if we can do something. Instead, we can move on to figuring out how."

InterfaceRAISE will serve as a resource to companies looking to drive business value through sustainability education, cultural transformation and innovation. It will also serve as an internal support mechanism for Mission Zero and customer events, such as the recent Biomimicry Retreat hosted by InterfaceFLOR (Interface's commercial modular carpet business) at Shelburne Farms in Vermont.

At the helm of InterfaceRAISE as Managing Director, is Jim Hartzfeld, one of the "chief architects" of Interface's Sustainability Journey and a long time resource for Interface associates and customers worldwide on the company's efforts and philosophies pertaining to sustainability. Jim is also past chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council.

"Interface cannot achieve sustainability alone," said Hartzfeld. We've proven our leadership through the way we embrace sustainability with one collective voice and through our efforts to share our experiences. InterfaceRAISE is the focal point of a continuing effort to distill the latest concepts and practical experience of Interface and other partners into ever more powerful tools and perspectives. Hartzfeld adds, "We created InterfaceRAISE to use our first-hand experience to help companies climb up their learning curve faster than by doing it alone, by showing them our scars and medals, like a Sherpa in a climbing expedition."

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