The Seven Faces of Mount Sustainability, Ray Anderson (1999)

“Introduction: The Seven Faces of Mount Sustainability” is the opening chapter of the book “Mid-Course Correction: Toward a Sustainable Enterprise: The Interface Model” by Ray Anderson. Published in 1999, this book has become a seminal work in the field of sustainability and business.

Ray Anderson was the founder and chairman of Interface Inc., a leading global modular carpet manufacturer. In this introduction, Anderson introduces the concept of “Mount Sustainability,” which serves as a metaphorical representation of the journey toward sustainability. Mount Sustainability symbolizes the challenges and obstacles that businesses face when transitioning to more sustainable practices.

Anderson describes Mount Sustainability as a vast mountain that businesses must climb to reach the summit of sustainable practices. He presents the metaphorical “seven faces” of this mountain, which represent different aspects or dimensions of sustainability. These seven faces encompass the key areas that businesses need to address to become more sustainable and environmentally responsible.

While the specific details of the seven faces may vary depending on the edition or version of the book, they generally include aspects such as waste reduction, renewable energy, resource efficiency, responsible sourcing, environmental impact reduction, and the importance of sustainable design and innovation.

In this introduction, Anderson sets the stage for the rest of the book by emphasizing the urgency and significance of embracing sustainability in business practices. He shares his personal transformation and awakening to the environmental impacts of his company’s operations, which led him to commit to making Interface a sustainable enterprise.

Anderson’s book, “Mid-Course Correction,” outlines his journey in transforming Interface and provides a roadmap for other businesses to follow. It delves into practical strategies, case studies, and insights for achieving sustainability within the corporate world.

Overall, the introduction to “The Seven Faces of Mount Sustainability” establishes the context and framework for the book, emphasizing the importance of sustainable business practices and introducing the metaphorical concept of Mount Sustainability as a representation of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the pursuit of sustainability.

References

  • Adams, W. M. (2006). The future of sustainability: Re-thinking environment and development in the twenty-first century. Report of the IUCN Renowned Thinkers Meeting. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Brundtland, G. H. (1987). Our common future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford University Press.
  • Daly, H. E. (1991). Steady-state economics: Second edition with new essays. Island Press.
  • Elkington, J. (1997). Cannibals with forks: The triple bottom line of 21st-century business. Capstone.
  • Ghosh, S. (2018). The Anthropocene: A multidisciplinary approach. Springer.
  • Global Reporting Initiative. (2018). Sustainability reporting standards. Retrieved from https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/
  • Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162(3859), 1243-1248.
  • Hawken, P., Lovins, A., & Lovins, H. (2013). Natural capitalism: Creating the next industrial revolution. Back Bay Books.
  • Meadows, D. H., Meadows, D. L., & Randers, J. (2004). Limits to growth: The 30-year update. Chelsea Green Publishing.
  • Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. (2005). Ecosystems and human well-being: Synthesis. Island Press.
  • Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K., Persson, Å., Chapin, F. S., Lambin, E. F., … & Foley, J. A. (2009). Planetary boundaries: Exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecology and Society, 14(2), 32.
  • Sachs, J. (2015). The age of sustainable development. Columbia University Press.
  • Schaltegger, S., & Wagner, M. (2006). Managing sustainability performance measurement. Journal of Business Ethics, 66(3), 307-319.
  • Senge, P. M. (2008). The necessary revolution: How individuals and organizations are working together to create a sustainable world. Doubleday.
  • Spangenberg, J. H. (2011). Sustainability science: A review, an analysis and some empirical lessons. Environmental Conservation, 38(3), 275-287.
  • Steffen, W., Broadgate, W., Deutsch, L., Gaffney, O., & Ludwig, C. (2015). The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration. The Anthropocene Review, 2(1), 81-98.
  • Stiglitz, J. E., Sen, A., & Fitoussi, J. P. (2009). Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/118025/118123/Fitoussi+Commission+report
  • Sustainable Development Goals. (n.d.). United Nations. Retrieved from https://sdgs.un.org/goals
  • United Nations. (1987). Our common future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford University Press.
  • United Nations. (2015). Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Retrieved from https://sdgs.un.org/2030agenda
  • United Nations Development Programme. (2020). Human development report 2020: The next frontier – Human development and the Anthropocene. Retrieved from http://hdr.undp.org/en/2020-report
  • United Nations Environment Programme. (2019). Global environment outlook: Healthy planet, healthy people. Retrieved from https://www.unenvironment.org/geo
  • World Business Council for Sustainable Development. (2010). Vision 2050: The new agenda for business. Retrieved from https://docs.wbcsd.org/2010/09/Vision_2050_report.pdf
  • World Commission on Environment and Development. (1987). Our common future. Oxford University Press.
  • Worldwatch Institute. (2017). State of the world 2017: EarthEd – Rethinking education on a changing planet. Island Press.