Business leaders demonstrate a new triple bottom line for business: announcing the first two recipients of the second annual Sustainability Awards

MINNEAPOLIS – The Alliance for Sustainability recently announced four recipients of its Second Annual Sustainability Awards: Ray Anderson, founder and chair of Interface, Inc.; Alisa Gravitz, executive director of Co-op America; David Morris, vice-president of the Institute for Local Self Reliance; and Eureka Recycling of St. Paul.

The awards are based on an extensive public nominations process that recognizes individuals, organizations and communities that have been exemplary leaders and made significant contributions to sustainability, creating a world that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just and humane. The honors will be given at a gala public celebration the evening of September 25 at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul. The recipients will participate in a public Sustainability Symposium the next morning.

"Both Alisa Gravitz and Ray Anderson have consistently proven that sustainable businesses can profit while benefiting people and the planet – the new triple bottom line," said Terry Gips, Alliance for Sustainability president and event co-chair. "They stand as true heroes and sheroes whose bold, yet compassionate leadership has inspired countless people and brought about fundamental changes in their institutions and industries as well as public policy."

Morris and Eureka Recycling have been chosen to receive the awards for their innovative non-profit work bridging business and community needs.

"David Morris and Eureka Recycling, with its director Susan Hubbard, are exemplary local leaders who have made significant contributions to sustainability with both a local and national impact – creating a world that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just and humane," noted Terry Gips, president of the Alliance for Sustainability and event co-chair. "They have demonstrated innovative solutions that have changed the direction of the industries and policies that they’ve addressed."

Profiles of the Sustainability Award Recipients

Ray Anderson: The leader of Interface, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial carpet tile and other textiles, is being recognized for his revolutionary efforts in turning a petroleum-based company into an internationally recognized, billion-dollar sustainability leader, demonstrating that a company can "do well by doing good" by creating "the next industrial revolution." At the same time, he has worked tirelessly to encourage countless business, government and other audiences to make a commitment to sustainability and served as the co-chair of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. "Under Anderson’s leadership, Interface has reduced its environmental footprint by more than 40 percent, cut total carbon dioxide emissions by 56 percent, decreased total energy consumption required to manufacture carpet by 43 percent, eliminated more than $300 million in waste since 1995 and been named several times as one of the Fortune Magazine’s "100 Best Companies to Work For," said Event Co-Chair Dawn Erlandson.

Alisa Gravitz: For more than 25 years, Alisa Gravitz has helped lead the national agenda to create a socially and environmentally responsible economy. As the executive director of Co-op America, the national non-profit membership organization working on marketplace solutions to social and environmental problems, Ms. Gravitz has worked with consumers, investors, businesses and entire industries to pioneer effective techniques for addressing issues of sustainable consumption and production, ranging from the magazine industry’s increased use of recycled content paper to solar energy economies of scale and price reductions. She has led efforts to develop a 70,000 person consumer economic action network, Green Festivals in three cities attracting 50,000 people, and Co-op America’s green business network and National Green Pages with 3,500 businesses. "Alisa is a leader in helping people reduce their consumption, and shift consumer demand to goods and services that are environmentally responsible and socially just," said Sean Gosiewski, executive director of the Alliance for Sustainability. "She is a tireless campaigner on climate change solutions and solar energy. And she is also a nationally recognized leader in the social investment industry, serving as the Vice-President of the Social Investment Forum, the national socially responsible investment industry association, and co-author of Co-op America’s acclaimed guide to social investing, which is used by half a million investors to invest their money according to their values."

David Morris: For more than three decades, Morris has been one of the nation’s leading proponents for humanly scaled, community based economic and political systems, as a prolific writer, speaker and advocate providing path-breaking policy initiatives. An economist by training, Morris is a syndicated columnist and author of more than 200 books and articles on rural communities, energy and sustainability. He co-founded the Minneapolis and Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance in 1974 and currently serves as vice-president and director of its New Rules Project. "David is one of the most enlightened, energetic, and thoughtful leaders on the future of America," said event co-chair Dawn Erlandson. "Through the institute, he has selflessly devoted his life to doing hard work in the trenches with both rural and urban communities that has resulted in diverse, positive and successful policies and programs helping to create a sustainable world."

Eureka Recycling: Eureka Recycling is one of the largest non-profit recyclers in the United States and a leader in demonstrating the best waste reduction and recycling practices not only for the Twin Cities metro area, but for the nation. Driven by a mission to demonstrate that waste is preventable, not inevitable, Eureka Recycling’s services, programs and advocacy efforts are designed to be cost-effective while ensuring the greatest environmental benefits. Its initiatives include the Twin Cities Free Market, the Recycled Products Co-op, event recycling and compost workshops. For nearly 20 years, Eureka Recycling has been Saint Paul’s recycler, providing model, award-winning education and advocacy, as well as curbside and apartment recycling services. "Eureka Recycling is a national leader in promoting Zero Waste as a goal for both households and municipalities," observed Alliance for Sustainability Executive Director Sean Gosiewski. "By coordinating the St. Paul Environmental Roundtable, Eureka Recycling was able to generate ideas from hundreds of citizens, which resulted in comprehensive recommendations to the City on six important environmental topics. The city then committed to implementing the Roundtable’s recommendations."

Previous recipients of the sustainability awards include inspiring author Frances Moore Lappe, artist Peter Max, Aveda Corporation Founder Horst Rechelbacher, Native-American activist Winona LaDuke, Seventh Generation Corporation, musician Larry Long, Minnesota Sustainable Community Network, University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, the Green Institute and The Intervale.

Sponsors of the Awards and Symposium include Utne Magazine, Aveda Corporation, Seventh Generation, Piper Jaffray, CSRwire, E – The Environmental Magazine, Gift Works by Mission Research, Mal Warwick Associates, Ayurceutics, Eureka Recycling, Portfolio 21, Indigenous Designs, Jedlicka Design, Baltix Furniture, Rancho La Puerta Spa, Dolphin Blue, Progressive Asset Management, Gegax Family Foundation, University Bank, and Sustainability Associates.

The Alliance for Sustainability was founded in 1983 and has been one of the original proponents of sustainability, developing a widely used four-part definition. Its mission is to bring about personal, organizational and planetary sustainability. It has partnered with diverse business, government and non-profit groups to create the CERES Principles, Living Green Expo, and Congregations Caring for Creation, as well as numerous public policies. It offers trainings on Sustainability and the Natural Step Framework and has an e-newsletter Manna, website www.afors.org, numerous publications, a Sustainability Resource Center, and internship program.

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Tim Miejan
Tim Miejan is editor & co-publisher of The Edge magazine. Contact him at 651.578.8969 or editor@edgemagazine.net. Visit The Edge online at www.edgemagazine.net.

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