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Posts by Ramon Arratia

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation Policymakers Toolkit

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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has recently released this report – ‘Delivering the Circular Economy’, an actionable toolkit for policymakers wishing to make a transition to the circular economy.

Business leaders and governments alike are acknowledging that continued long-term value creation requires a new economic model that is less dependent on cheap, easily accessible materials and energy, and that is able to restore and regenerate natural capital. In its research to date, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has demonstrated that the circular economy is a clear value creation opportunity. As many policymakers become interested in this promising model, they envisage the important role they can play in creating the right enabling conditions and, as appropriate, setting direction to unlock it. This report looks at the circular economy opportunity from a country and policymaker perspective, and aims to provide policymakers with an actionable toolkit to help accelerate the transition towards the circular economy.

Delivering the circular economy

It’s the result of a collaboration led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with the Danish Business Authority and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency as key contributors, especially in the Denmark pilot phase. The toolkit was developed in cooperation with Danish and international stakeholders, including leading policymakers, businesses and academics. The McKinsey Centre for Business and Environment (“MCBE”) provided analytical support. NERA Economic Consulting provided support for the macroeconomic and policy analysis for Parts 2 and 3 of this report. The MAVA Foundation funded the project.

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Live Chat – ‘How do we overcome the biggest barriers to being a sustainable business?’

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big barriers to sustainable business

Tomorrow (1st July) between 1 – 2.30pm BST, join me and other 2015 Guardian Sustainable Business Award winners plus the host of the event, The Crystal.

Title of the #livechat - ‘How do we overcome the biggest barriers to being a sustainable business?’

To get involved simply tweet #AskGSB or go to this page and ask your question via the simple form

Questions we’ll tackle include:

* What are the biggest barriers businesses face on the road to becoming sustainable?

* What are some transferable strategies for overcoming these?

* How can sustainable businesses support each other when the road gets rocky?

* What will a sustainable business of the future need to be prepared for?

* What parts of your journey have proven particularly challenging and what have you learnt from them?


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‘Brand of the year’ at MUUUZ International Awards 2015

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Approximately 22.000 professionals (architects, interior designers etc.) were consulted for the MUUUZ International Awards 2015.


We are very proud to announce that Interface has been elected “Brand of the year” thanks to Microsfera, our collection with the smallest carbon footprint ever. Click this link to find out more about the MUUUZ – News Architecture, Design, Tendances, Inspiration awards.

The carbon footprint is the single most significant impact of a carpet tile. That’s why we call it ‘the magic metric’. Over time various developments in the carpet industry have led to a shrinking carbon footprint. Microsfera is a big step forward. Even compared to a typical carpet tile using 100% recycled nylon, the carbon footprint of Microsfera is less than half the size. More about Microsfera:

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80 UK businesses including Willmott Dixon, Cisco, E.on, John Lewis, SSE, and BT have called on the new government to take decisive action to combat climate change and build a low-carbon economy.

An open letter from the firms to Prime Minister David Cameron and published in today’s Financial Times calls on the new administration to:

* Seek a strong global climate deal in Paris in December which limits temperature rises to below 2°C.

* Set an ambitious 5th carbon budget to drive forward UK emissions reductions (covering period 2028-32).

* Establish a long-term framework for investment in the low-carbon economy, giving industry much-needed clarity over what is expected in terms of low-carbon development, and boost the confidence of green investors.

Other signatories include Dong Energy, Johnson & Starley, Trillion Fund, Infinergy, ARUP and Instagroup.

WWF-UK is leading calls for a new approach to governance that places low-carbon growth and the responsible management of natural capital at the heart of economic policy. WWF-UK Chief Executive David Nussbaum said:

“British business shows it is ready to step up.  From construction and energy to retail, the best British enterprises know that green growth is the future.  They take on board that it’s no longer credible to base a sustainable economy on fossil fuels, so the Government should put us on track for a low-carbon world.”

“As we approach international climate talks, Britain should be a global champion for change, but a lack of consistent long-term policies sends a confusing message to business and undermines our attractiveness to investors. The Prime Minister should send a clear message that the only way forward is a green economy, and provide greater support to forward-looking firms that want to build a clean economy.”

Failure to reduce emissions could burden businesses with shortages of water and raw materials  as the planet heats up.  And the costs of dealing with extreme weather and global instability could run into the hundreds of billions.  But clearer long-term incentives for investment in renewable and efficient technologies and practices would pay dividends in terms of new jobs and international trade, while reducing the impact of climate change.

Alistair Phillips Davies, Chief Executive of SSE said:

“As one of the UK’s largest investors in low carbon energy, SSE has long argued for a strong international carbon framework that can provide the right signals for efficient investment.”

Julia Groves, chief executive of Trillion Fund, a renewable energy crowdfunding platform, said:

“Protecting the pound in people’s pockets is not at odds with supporting low carbon energy generation. Peer-to-peer lending and the maturity of energy generation technologies have come together to create an exciting opportunity for ordinary people looking for a decent return and potentially, to offer cheaper bills for locals too. Regular lenders and investors can sit alongside the Green Investment Bank, pension funds, private equity and banks as direct stakeholders in a clean future, and with the right support, this model can drive competition in energy and in finance, for people, planet and profit.”

Low Carbon Britain

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The 2015 Sustainability Leaders Survey – Interface makes top 3!

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The GlobeScan / SustainAbility Surveys offer a unique, collaborative platform that uses research-driven insights, including targeted surveys of the most influential thought leaders in the sustainability arena from over eighty countries, to explore the biggest sustainability challenges. You can download the latest report here.

The thousands of stakeholders surveyed include leading sustainable development experts and practitioners from five sectors: • Corporate • Government (including multi-lateral institutions) • NGOs • Institutional (e.g., academics) • Service (e.g., consultants, media) The GlobeScan / SustainAbility Surveys are in field around four times each year, and provide a regularly updated expert perspective on a range of timely topics.

This slide from the report shows us at third place. Click to enlarge. I’m incredibly proud that Interface has made the top 3 for 11 consecutive years.

Interface top 3 sustainability survey


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Subsidies we give to the fossil fuel industry [report]

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fossil-fuel-emissionsGreat report (paid) from the IMF with estimates on the huge amounts of subsidies that governments give towards the fossil fuel industry.

Energy subsidies (including environmental costs) are dramatically higher than previously estimated and represent 6.5 percent of global GDP. Hello!

Eliminating these subsidies could:

* Raise government revenue by around 3.6% of global GDP

* Cut global CO2 emissions by more than 20%

* Cut premature air pollution deaths by more than half

* Raise global economic welfare by $1.8 trillion (2.2% of global GDP)

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Interface Europe direct footprint reductions

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Maroš ŠefčovičToday EU Vice President Maroš Šefčovič will see with his own eyes in the Netherlands how the following impact reductions are possible in a competitive environment.

There should be no excuse for any company not to achieve radical impact reduction goals.

Interface Europe direct footprint reductions:

* Direct GHG Emissions: -98% (Reduction since 1996)

* Renewable Energy: 95%

* Energy Efficiency: -54% (Reduction since 1996)

* Water Usage: -93% (Reduction since 1996)

* Waste to Landfill:  Zero

The 18th European Forum on Eco-innovation

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The 18th European Forum on Eco-innovationI’ll be speaking here on Wednesday at the 18th European Forum on Eco-innovation in Barcelona. Please come and say hello if you’re attending.

The event is all about boosting competitiveness and innovation. Make your voice heard as a European innovator, retailer and consumer. Gain a deeper understanding of the world of environmental information and management schemes. Join us in Barcelona for the 18th European Forum on Eco-innovation!  The Forum will explore how to strengthen competitiveness and innovation, in particular of SMEs, through environmental labelling, management and information schemes by presenting:

* the landscape of existing environmental schemes and their value in enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs;

* examples of successful environmental labelling, management and information initiatives;

* how we reconcile credibility of labels with the need to differentiate products;

* the role of public authorities in this area; and

* partnerships between retailers and suppliers that help consumers choose “green” products.

The 18th European Forum on Eco-innovation also provides an opportunity for participants from across Europe to:

* meet with the participants of the European Retail Forum Meeting;

* inform the on-going European Union Ecolabel and Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) evaluations with key messages and recommendations for action;

* discover the best performing companies among those committed to monitor and enhance their environmental performance at the EMAS Awards Ceremony;

* learn about the first innovative technologies with performance claims verified by Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) and about the Best of Eco-innovation projects funded by the EU Competitiveness and Innovation Programme Eco-innovation initiative;

* participate in a business-to-business matchmaking session;

* Take part in the guided visit to stores demonstrating their conception and implementation of sustainability: Caprabo (Eroski Group), Mercadona, Consum.

The Forum is jointly organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Environment, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Generalitat de Catalunya with the support the Club EMAS Catalunya and the Environment Sector Group of the Enterprise Europe Network.

The event will be run in English and Spanish. Hope to see you there.

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The Stretch Agenda – Dramatising transformational change in the boardroom

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Volans Stretch Agenda

John and the Volans team are taking this novel approach, and bringing to life as a play, what needs to happen in every company to drive transformational change that ultimately affects us all.

They’ve called it The Stretch Agenda which launches today – More here in the PDF in our downloads section.

“The Stretch Agenda  takes the form of a dramatisation – a play! – drawing on our years of experience in working with business, to offer insight into the types of conversations now beginning to play out across boardrooms in the Global C-Suite. 

The focus here is on a fictional “MN-Co”, a global company, where leaders are gathered to explore how to shift their business model to address the profound economic, social and environmental challenges ahead. So, in other words, transformational change, beyond the incremental. Key questions they ask themselves include: If not us, who? If not now, when? 

At the same time, we will launch a complementary briefing, The Breakthrough Forecastan intelligence briefing – as yet in a beta version – to map and assess the emerging “Sweet Spots” of the emerging Stretch Agenda, i.e. market growth opportunities that combine multiple forms of value based on a distillation of research, interviews and analysis.”

Break a leg guys!

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