InterfaceRAISE: Sustainability Consulting
1. What is InterfaceRAISE’s value proposition? InterfaceRAISE’s value proposition is that Interface’s firsthand experience in implementing sustainable strategies, practices and culture will accelerate other companies’ leanings and performance in this area. InterfaceRAISE will be a credible peer-to-peer consultancy in this field due to Interface’s reputation as a successful pioneer in sustainable manufacturing. Interface have a record since 1994 of embedding sustainability into their business model and have successfully grown, found savings and delivered profits over this time. 2. InterfaceRAISE has three objectives. Which appears to be driving its strategy?Can all three be achieved simultaneously? The objective that appears to be driving InterfaceRAISE’s strategy is the first objective 1. “Further Interface’s restorative goals by helping other organizations launch or accelerate their sustainability efforts.” (Toffel 2012, 5) Toffell writes of InterfaceRAISE that “the ultimate vision was sustainability and restoration” (2012, 5). InterfaceRAISE was established in order to fulfill Interface’s vision of moving beyond sustainability to becoming restorative. Anderson’s vision of Interface becoming restorative seemed unachievable from a purely manufacturing perspective, however, the opportunity to advocate sustainable practices was considered to assist in the achievement of environmental restoration though this positive influence (Toffell 2012, 4). The other two objectives - to create a halo effect on Interface’s brand with a result of increasing carpet sales, and to become a financially sustainable business, appear to be subordinate objectives. Interface’s success in implementing a sustainable business model had already attracted much attention (media, awards) and a halo effect established around the brand. Before InterfaceRAISE was created, companies were interested in the model, so this objective was already being large achieved. If InterfaceRAISE was expected to be financially sustainable, it would
appear that insufficient resources have been allocated up to 2011, with revenue stream being directly affected by the limited capacity for ongoing business development (Toffell 2012, 18, exhibit 7). Although not one of InterfaceRAISE’s three stated objectives, the case study makes mention in a number of places that Interfaced hoped that interactions with other companies would bring information and new ideas back to Interface. It is not possible for all three to be achieved simultaneously in a highly effective manner. A primary objective needs to be decided on and if this is to further Interface’s restorative goals, then InterfaceRAISE is substantially a marketing tool to support the Interface brand and achieve the this aspect of Interface’s vision and mission statement. While some revenue will be generated, financial sustainability should not be an objective. The value of InterfaceRAISE is the Interface business model and Interface’s vision to ‘preach’ sustainability and restoration through influence. In addition, the language and approach used by Interface and InterfaceRAISE in regards to influencing others to convert to sustainable practices borders on the religious and philanthropic and this does not align with its financial goals. 3. What would you recommend to CEO Dan Hendrix with regard to strategy, service, offering, pricing and structure/staffing? What would you request from Interface Inc. in terms of time and/or investment? Dan Hendrix wants more impact from InterfaceRAISE. My recommendation is for impact to be defined as increasing awareness of the Interface business model to achieve influence in sustainability and restoration. Then to develop a partnership with an established consulting organisation to implement sustainable business practices in other companies. Interface would benefit as this would meet its vision of restorative influence, as well as support the...
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