#SBMadrid19 Interview – Jon Khoo, Regional Sustainability Manager (UKIME & Nordics) of Interface

Interface is an iconic Brand speaking about sustainability. What do you think that made Interface different from the rest some years ago?

Leadership and a transformative mindset. Confronted with the question, “What are you doing about the environment?”, Interface’s founder Ray Anderson, took the time to use sustainability as a mirror and to see what impact industry was having on the planet. At the time, Ray didn’t like what he saw – and it inspired him to radically transform how we as Interface approached business. Instead of being part of the problem, Interface’s products and services would become part of the solution, and our people became change agents. Our purpose now is to lead industry to love the world. For 25 years we’ve been working to reduce the impact of our products to zero – and we are now able to ensure that all of our products are carbon neutral.

Now, after some years speaking (and doing) about Circular Economy, what´s next?? (For Interface but also for other companies? How society, companies, etc can accelerate and tackle Circular Economy?

Awareness on waste and the circular economy is as high as it’s ever been. The challenge now is to turn the talk into action and scale the solutions. A sobering fact is that a recent WBCSD report highlighted that the world is only 9% circular. Across the built environment, we need to reconsider our relationship with materials – to embrace reuse, recycled content and the repurposing of products. We also need to be more systemic in our solutions – take ocean-bound plastic, with NextWave we’re working on a supply chain that works more like a supply-web – plastic waste picked up in one location, should be able to find its way into 3-4 different products.  Finally, circular solutions need to consider how they can have both protect the environment and empower people.

What is the next Interface´s Moonshot?

At Interface we’re focussed on tackling Climate Change. We believe that all businesses should be responding to the climate emergency we find ourselves in. Under our new mission, Climate Take Back, we’re working to run our business in a way that actually reverses the effects of global warming. All our products are currently carbon neutral, beyond this we’re looking at carbon negative materials and an ultimate Moonshot aim of being carbon negative overall by 2040.

And your personal Moonshot?

Keen to demonstrate that a regenerative approach to business will enable companies to do well, by doing good. That business can be a source of climate optimism.

Why someone shouldn´t miss up SBMadrid 19 this year?

The time to act on climate change is now. SBMadrid is a great opportunity to share, to be inspired and to work out your own Moonshot and help others find theirs.

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