Born in West Point, GA, in 1934, Ray Anderson graduated with highest honors from Georgia Institute of Technology, earning a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. He worked as an industrial engineer at Procter & Gamble and Deering-Milliken before serving as director of development and marketing manager in the carpet division at Deering-Milliken. In 1973, Anderson founded Interface, Inc., a manufacturer and sales outlet of free-lay carpet tiles, broadloom carpet, interior fabrics, chemicals and architectural products for commercial interiors.
The co-chairman of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, Anderson has worked diligently to make Interface a sustainable corporation by leading a worldwide war on waste and pioneering the process of sustainable development. This means developing processes and technologies to harness solar energy and provide raw material needs by harvesting and recycling carpet and other petrochemical products, while eliminating waste and harmful emissions from Interface’s operations.
In 1996 Anderson received the inaugural Millennium Award for Corporate Environmental Leadership from Global Green and was also recognized as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southeast Region. He was named International Businessman of the Year in 1992 by the Society of International Business Fellows. He is also a member of a number of religious, civic and business organizations.