Interface Workplace Culture
Innovation and Collaboration With a Higher Purpose
Interface® was founded by an entrepreneur with a vision of bringing the ingenuity of modular carpet tile to a broader market. As we grew, we worked to sustain and foster that entrepreneurial energy and drive, while expanding from a 15-person company to nearly 4,000 associates worldwide. And all while broadening our focus from innovative carpet manufacturing to an innovative business that sets a worldwide standard for sustainable commerce.
In the mid-1990s, Interface set out its vision for the future: Every creative, manufacturing and building decision we make will move us closer to our goal of eliminating any negative impact our companies may have on the environment by the year 2020.
What began as questions from customers asking what Interface was doing for the environment took on greater momentum when our founder and chairman, Ray Anderson, was struck by a vision of the role one company could play in creating a model for sustainable business. As a company, we were reinvented. The vision rapidly altered every aspect of our business, and created a culture of associates who are highly adaptable to the pace of change it brought and highly committed to its success.
The strength of this shared vision flattened our organization – a hierarchical organization would only impede the collaboration and cooperation required by the rate at which we were changing. Progress toward sustainability required creative solutions – we were conducting business in a whole new way – and so a culture that encouraged openness and allowed for failure emerged.
The evidence of a successful, lasting cultural change at Interface can be found in the great number of innovative solutions conceived of and implemented by our associates. Well-equipped, fully engaged associates from a diversity of backgrounds are greater contributors to our company, to fellow human beings, to sustainable environments, and to social and economic structures. Interface associates are connected to something bigger than making carpet. Sustainability has become a lightening rod for inspiring our company vision and empowering associates with a committed sense of higher purpose.
Interface’s unique culture has been extensively acknowledged with workplace awards. Interface has been listed among Fortune magazine’s “Best Places to Work.”
Every aspect of Interface business is evidence of our culture and that culture’s shared commitment to sustainability — it is embedded in the ways in which we make, sell and distribute carpet and present ourselves to our customers and associates; it is reflected in the LEED-certified and green buildings that are our workplaces and showrooms; and it is sustained by the innovations that emerge from our offices and plants around the world.
As a culture forged by change, we look forward to what lies ahead. With a diversity of perspectives and the continued contributions of associates, our culture of innovation, collaboration and a shared commitment will grow, thrive and help us realize our vision.