By Ayrel Clark-Proffitt, Office of Sustainability
Last Wednesday, Film Festival Flix provided a special documentary screening at Brewvies of the 2009 film “So Right So Smart.” The film focuses on why it is smart business sense to be more sustainable, and focuses heavily on Ray Anderson and his vision to turn Interface Inc. from a wasteful, heavy consumer of petroleum into one of the world’s most sustainable companies and, by 2020, a zero-environmental footprint firm. Anderson referred to himself as a “radical industrialist” and has stated that being put on the path to sustainability helped him not only realize the wrong his company was doing, but also the many opportunities that come from new, green thinking. Anderson died of cancer in 2011.
George Bandy, the current vice president for sustainability at Interface, will speak at the University of Utah on Sept. 19 at 11:30 am in the Saltair Room of the Union. During his talk, “Designing a Future with Nature in Mind,” he will talk about conservation, corporate citizenship, better business practices, and diversity. The talk is free. Bandy will also be the keynote speaker at the Net Impact Utah conference on Sept. 20.
One of the things that struck me during the film was when Ray Anderson read a poem that was written by Glenn Thomas, an Interface employee, in response to the company’s U-turn toward environmental conservation and closed-systems thinking. Anderson joked that to his knowledge, he had never inspired a poem before. The third stanza is where the poem really grabs you:
© Glenn Thomas
Without a name; an unseen face
and knowing not your time nor place
Tomorrow’s Child, though yet unborn,
I met you first last Tuesday morn.
A wise friend introduced us two,
and through his sobering point of view
I saw a day that you would see;
a day for you, but not for me
Knowing you has changed my thinking,
for I never had an inkling
That perhaps the things I do
might someday, somehow, threaten you
Tomorrow’s Child, my daughter-son
I’m afraid I’ve just begun
To think of you and of your good,
Though always having known I should.
Begin I will to weigh the cost
of what I squander; what is lost
If ever I forget that you
will someday come to live here too.