Rolling out a new business model for recycling and reuse

As part of my Master’s I completed a dissertation on Partnerships for Strategic Sustainable Development with two collaborators: Richard Blume and Miriam Karell. To ensure our learning was based on experience (action-learning) we partnered with Interface to do some quasi-consulting work in trying to extend their network of European ReEntry (carpet re-use and recycling) partners into Scandinavia.

Focusing on Denmark, Norway and Sweden we developed an understanding of the Interface model, created marketing materials and sales pitches, then headed out with our inadequate language skills to recruit partners. We successfully identified a number of potential partners that we were able to present back to Interface for local managers to take forward. It was a real learning in the inspirational passion Interface has for doing things right, the gap between their sustainability credentials and how well they communicate them (completely the opposite to most greenwashing from corporations – Interface’s practices lead their marketing by a long way) and insight into the many ways you can twist, fold, and re-imagine what you can do with 0.25m2 of carpet ; )

InterfaceFLOR and their CEO Ray Anderson are the prototypical company of the 21st Century, leading the way in ensuring their impact on planet and people is a positive one. ReEntry is their program for re-use and recycling of carpet tiles that would otherwise be destined for landfill, and you can read about their local partners and how they use the carpet on their site.