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Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability 10/10


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About the Author

Ray Anderson, General Editor of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability, was a visionary entrepreneur and champion for the environment, dubbed by Fortune as ""the greenest CEO in America."" His books, especially the latest, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, will continue to inspire, and Ray's influence will continue to be felt through the work of all the people he has encouraged, supported, and instructed.

In 1997, Anderson described his vision for his carpet company, Interface, Inc., then nearly a quarter-century old: ""If we're successful, we'll spend the rest of our days harvesting yester-year's carpets and other petrochemically derived products, and recycling them into new materials; and converting sunlight into energy; with zero scrap going to the landfill and zero emissions into the ecosystem. And we'll be doing well ... very well ... by doing good. That's the vision.""

Ray Anderson built an off-the-grid home, authored a book chronicling his life, Mid-Course Correction, and became an unlikely screen hero in the 2004 Canadian documentary, The Corporation and in the 2007 film by Leonardo DiCaprio, The 11th Hour. He was a master commentator on the Sundance Channel's series, Big Ideas for a Small Planet and was named one of TIME magazine's Heroes of the Environment in 2007, with a similar honor from Elle Magazine that year. He was a sought-after speaker and advisor on many environmental issues, including a stint as co-chair of the President's Council on Sustainable Development during President Clinton's administration.

Anderson was lauded by government, environmental, and business groups alike. In 2007, he was honored as a recipient of the Purpose Prize from Civic Ventures, a think tank and an idea incubator, and by Auburn University with its International Quality of Life Award.

In 1996, he received the Inaugural Millennium Award from Global Green, presented by Mikhail Gorbachev, and won recognition from Forbes Magazine and Ernst & Young, which named him Entrepreneur of the Year. In January, 2001, he received the George and Cynthia Mitchell International Prize for Sustainable Development. During his lifetime he was also honored by the Georgia Conservancy, Southface Energy Institute, SAM-SPG (Switzerland), the US Green Building Council, the National Wildlife Federation, the Design Futures Council, the Children's Health and Environmental Coalition, the Harvard Business School Alumni (Atlanta Chapter), the International Interior Design Association, the Southern Institute for Business & Professional Ethics, the Possible Woman Foundation International, the World Business Academy, LaGrange College, and the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. Anderson was former Board Chair for The Georgia Conservancy; and served on the boards of the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation; Rocky Mountain Institute; the David Suzuki Foundation; LaGrange College; Emory University Board of Visitors; the ASID Foundation; Worldwatch Institute; and Melaver, Inc. He was on the advisory boards of the Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment and the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. He held eight honorary doctorates from Northland College (public service), LaGrange College (business), North Carolina State University (humane letters), University of Southern Maine (humane letters), The University of the South (civil law), Colby College (law), Kendall College (art), and Emory University (science).

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