With the onset of our current economic crisis, people around the world have taken a step back in hopes of a better day. It seems to general trend of the world system; ride the highs, and reform the lows. This has been the pattern of the US for centuries. When lows come along, flaws in our ever porous system are highlighted and the areas in need of immediate improvement become all too apparent. These problems are either ignored or impossible to see during affluent times but once exposed, they are the most obvious loop holes.
But where are these loop-holes found and when do they need to be fixed. It seems in our analysis of organizations; the most successful companies are usually those who formalize their entire structure. But when thinking of formalized structures, it seems we are pre-conditioned to think of only certain public corporations. Ask of room full of educated students to name organized companies and a good percentage of these students will probably think of the same or similar companies. The first that popped into my head were: Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, McDonalds. In our current bottom, these seem to be the areas of major focus for reform. How can these corporations become more environmentally friendly? Where are their formalized practices producing injustices? How can these problems be resolved?
In last week’s assignment, a few students discussed Wal-Mart and the impact its formal structure has on its employees and its customers. But what of the environment? Today, environmental degradation has surfaced as one of the largest loop-holes that we must resolve. Our readings have highlighted some areas and companies that have taken steps towards a solution. Besides known eco-friendly companies such as Whole-Foods who continue to become more and more eco-friendly each day, institutions large and small have even gone so far as to change their entire corporate strategy .
A company that was briefly discussed in a business ethics class immediately came to mind. Ray Anderson, founder and CEO of Interface Inc. has completely revamped the company’s mission to include the impact of their day to day functions on the environment.
To be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the entire industrial world what sustainability is in all its dimensions: People, process, product, place and profits – by 2020 – and in doing so we will become restorative through the power of influence.
Interface will become the first name in commercial and institutional interiors worldwide through its commitment to people, process, product, place and profits…
…We will honor the places where we do business by endeavoring to become the first name in industrial ecology, a corporation that cherishes nature and restores the environment. Interface will lead by example and validate by results, including profits, leaving the world a better place than when we began, and we will be restorative through the power of our influence in the world.
Ray Anderson hopes to make the world’s largest carpet manufacturer into a 100% restorative institution by 2020. Even without direct the force of regulations; the company has voluntarily included its environmental responsibilities in running its daily business decisions.