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environment, for the divide between rich and poor, for human wellbeing and peace, business has not been silent. Indeed many parts of the global corporate world have shown astonishing leadership in this space and each year we edge toward a tipping point of sustainability (social and environmental) being an expected purpose for all businesses. Interface Carpets, led by the late Ray Anderson is an excellent example of an ecological conversion. The call for a new way of doing business came from his Australian team, keen to respond well to client enquiries about the environmental impact of their product. A meeting was called and Ray was invited to present on the company’s environmental position. But Ray had no story to tell, yet. He had never thought about his position on the environment and what it meant to business. To Ray’s credit, he went on a deep and personal journey and came to the conclusion that we in business are ‘plunderers’ stealing from generations to come what is not ours to take. Then, like the Pope, he chose to lead and give voice to his revelation. Ray chose YouTube, conferences, targets and strategy as his encyclical. Since that time, Interface Carpets has moved rapidly towards targets to use zero energy, water and waste in the manufacture of their carpets.

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They have eliminated harmful toxins from their products and partnered with the poor of the Philippines and Cameroon to turn discarded polluting fishing nets into carpet backing. Their stories of success are well documented and inspiring. Ray Anderson is worth googling!

Indeed many parts of the global corporate world have shown astonishing leadership in this space The story of Patagonia, makers of adventure apparel, has a similar plot. Founder Yvon Chouinard’s eyes were opened to the reality of his business when he took a flight over the fields that produced the cotton for his clothes. He was surprised by the barren land and toxic lakes left devastated by the impact of the pesticides used in the cotton’s cultivation. Yvon had an ecological conversion. To paraphrase him, once you start living an examined life, you can’t stop. Patagonia now pioneers organic cotton farming, fair labour practices and good working conditions, abolition of human trafficking, recycled polyester, traceable down and the giving of 1% of profits to grassroots sustainability organisations.

THE FRANCIS EFFECT II: PRAISED BE YOU – ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME

Profile for Catholic Mission

The Francis Effect II - Praised Be You - On Care for our Common Home  

Twelve prominent Catholic leaders from various sectors and ministries of the Australian Church offer their perspectives on Pope Francis’ enc...

The Francis Effect II - Praised Be You - On Care for our Common Home  

Twelve prominent Catholic leaders from various sectors and ministries of the Australian Church offer their perspectives on Pope Francis’ enc...

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