Environmentally Committed Industrialist to Give Lane Lecture

PULLMAN, Wash. — A pioneer in developing sustainable manufacturing methods will
deliver the 1999 Lane Family Lecture in Environmental Science at Washington State University
on Wednesday, Oct. 27.
The public lecture by Ray C. Anderson, entitled “Mid-Course Correction,” will be held in
Todd Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
Anderson is chairman and CEO of Interface Inc., one of the world’s largest interior
furnishings companies. In his talk, he will recount his awakening to the importance of
environmental issues and outline the steps his petroleum-dependent company is taking in its
quest to become a sustainable enterprise.
Anderson graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology as an industrial engineer and
after gaining experience in the carpet industry, founded Interface. He soon began an effort to
make his company a completely sustainable corporation. The company reduced waste and
eliminated harmful emissions from its operations and developed technologies to harness solar
energy and to provide raw material needs by harvesting and recycling carpet and other
petrochemical products. Anderson believes that if Interface can get it right, it will “never have to
take another drop of oil from the earth.”
Anderson was named co-chairman of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development in
1997. He received the inaugural Millennium Award from Global Green, presented by Mikhail
Gorbachev, in 1996. Anderson was also recognized in 1996 as the Ernest and Young
Entrepreneur of Year for the Southeast region. Interface Inc. was named one of the “Top 100
Companies to Work For in America” by Fortune magazine and one of Georgia’s top 100 public
companies in 1997.
The Lane Lecture is funded by an $150,000 endowment created by Bill and Jean Lane, former
owners of Sunset magazine and Lane Publishing. It was created to enhance the Robert and
Wendi Lane Fellowship, started in 1992 through a gift of $125,000 from the Lane’s son and
daughter-in-law, WSU alumnus Robert Lane and his wife, Wendi.
Previous Lane lectures have been delivered by Bill Lane, ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin, zero
population growth advocate Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day founder Denis Hayes, environmental lawyer
Ann Strong and former EPA administrator William K. Reilly.