Interface's Erin Meezan on why raising climate ambitions is good for business
EXCLUSIVE: The chief sustainability officer of carpet tile manufacturer Interface has told edie that setting stretching, ambitious and uncomfortable climate targets was key to galvanising businesses and unlocking innovation.
Speaking to edie's content director Luke Nicholls within the COP26 Blue Zone this afternoon (11 November), Interface’s Erin Meezan said that the strong levels of business involvement at COP26 was crucial in ensuring everyone “had a seat at the table” during these global discussions.
“It is a really important time for the global political community to come together as a planet and discuss how we as a planet are going to address climate change,” Meezan told edie. “There are negotiations, diplomacy, very detailed sessions but it’s a bit of a pageant as well.”
“Not only have businesses been more involved here [at COP26] but also some voices that have traditionally been left outside, so indigenous leaders and youth. It’s really nice to see across the spectrum, businesses being more active…because we all have a role to play and we all should be at the table.”
In a major step towards its vision to become a carbon-negative business by 2040, modular flooring firm Interface launched its first carbon-negative certified products in the UK early this year.
Meezan had some advice for businesses that were yet to pursue net-zero or carbon-negative targets.
“You’ve got to get comfortable in choosing the biggest boldest ambition,” Meezan added. “Something that you don’t know how to do it. That high level of ambition galvanises people, it gets focus and drives innovation.
“To get to implementation, the next step is don’t get tangled in too many details… just start.”
edie at COP26
Want more exclusive content from inside COP26? Hosted in association with our headline COP26 content partner O2, edie is running a daily podcast show, featuring exclusive interviews with some of sustainability’s leading lights. Check out the COP26 Covered podcast here.
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