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Travel seems to feature highly in this month’s newsletter. Samantha is off in September to present The E’s in Research – Expertise and E-Delphi at the Aging and Social Change 9th Conference in Vienna. Needless to say we are all volunteering to carry her luggage!  So good luck Sam and stay tuned for an update for when she gets back.

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Also Erin, Kathryn and Christine have just come back from Sydney after visiting the Interface factory. When I asked them what was the highlight they all agreed that the sustainability story was super impressive. The founder Ray Anderson is truly a man passionate about creating change when it comes to the environment; in fact he has given a number of TED talks on the subject.

Apparently in 1994 Ray had an epiphany which shook the foundations of the petroleum-intensive carpet manufacturing industry by declaring that Interface was committed to becoming the world’s first environmentally sustainable — and, ultimately, restorative —company.

Interface established a Mission Zero® promise to eliminate any negative impact the company has on the environment by 2020 and from what the girls said they are well on their way to achieving it.

If we’re successful, we’ll spend the rest of our days harvesting yester-year’s carpets and other petrochemically derived products, and recycling them into new materials; and converting sunlight into energy; with zero scrap going to the landfill and zero emissions into the ecosystem. And we’ll be doing well ... very well ... by doing good. That’s the vision.

                        – Ray Anderson, 1997

The other impressive initiative Interface have as a company, is supplying the recycled materials to places such as Cambodia for not for profit organizations to sell thereby creating industries and businesses. So whilst Ray has since passed away his legacy still lives on.

However, no trip to Sydney could end without a little fun of which, I have on the best of authority, there was plenty of.  Dinners, trips to Manley on the ferry, tour of the Sydney Opera House and sitting through a performance of Madame Butterfly. All well deserved by the way 😊   

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NewsAmy Bosnar