How community service helps build a great company

Spending a nearly a quarter of our annual two-day sales meeting building garden boxes in a community garden, reading to school kids, playing bingo with seniors, installing carpet at a children’s home and stocking a food bank will not eliminate our environmental footprint, but it will provide more of an emotional connection to our mission than carbon offsets ever could.

Since 2005 it has become an annual rite to identify and engage local organizations in the city where we hold our sales meeting and to send out a crew of 250 volunteers to spend a half-day on the projects of their choice. Participating in this tradition reinforces the identity of Interface as a company that leaves the places where we work better than we found them, and the people we partner with inspired and fulfilled. We call them “Legacy Projects” for the positive impact we hope to leave.

In his very first speech on sustainability at Interface in 1994, Ray Anderson asked us to take on the challenge of becoming the first “restorative enterprise,” and “do good for the earth, not just no harm.” This has long since expanded to explicitly include “doing good” for the people and places we depend on to make our business successful.

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