09 August 2018

- Sustainability is the smartest business strategy there is

Geanne vArkel (25)

Geanne van Arkel, Head of Sustainable Development in Interface, believes that we will only be able to engage people in solving global warming when we take a positive approach. And by creating a sustainable business strategy. Monday you can hear her speaking at Global Outloook.

In a recent Deloitte study, 73% of CFO’s now see a direct relationship between sustainable or restorative business practices and financial performance. How come?

- As we experience at Interface, sustainability is the smartest business strategy there is, we not only reduced our impact on the climate and have been able to create ecological and social value, but it also supported reducing costs, contributing to a better reputation, driving innovation and engaging our employees and stakeholders. Sustainable restorative businesses will experience it makes their business more future resilience, as we have been experiencing since we started our sustainability journey towards becoming restorative in 1994.


You are Head of Sustainable Development in the company Interface, which is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial carpet tile. On your website, you ask the following question:

"If humanity has changed the climate by mistake, can we change it with intent?" How can we do that?

 - We can only do this together, governments, businesses, educational insitutes and citiziens.

Work of the Stockholm Resilience Institute shows what has to be done; we need to radically reduce our human carbon emissions, which is the prerequisite to make it happen. But we can do more by creating human carbon sinks, using carbon as a resource and restoring nature’s ability to regulate the climate.



 Geanne Grafikk


Research shows that more than 90% from both the climate experts and young business professionals believe it can be done. 


Climate take back, is your new mission. Do you have a optimistic or pessimistic view on the earth´s future? 

- We need to be optimistic to see the solutions and what can be done, that’s what we experience, by setting the goal to become restorative back in the nineties and now moving towards becoming regenerative, so really acting as nature. Also the work from Per Espen Stoknes, shows we only will be able to engage people in solving global warming when we take a positive approach. Make it the new normal, nudging people, sharing results and share stories how we can create the future we want. And all solutions are already there, thanks to over 3.8 billion years of evolution we only need to tap into them by applying Biomimicry Thinking.


So, why should people find their way to Global Outlook this year?

 - It is already in the name, it gives an outlook on what is happening in the world, but especially how an holistic positive approach can inspire people to act upon the solutions which are already there. And that businesses have the great opportunity by embedding sustainability in their organization to create sustainable value for both the environment and society. This will not only give them a license to operate, but the license to exist.

Project Drawdown is a great example where scientists from all over the world has brought together 100 solutions which actually can reverse global warming. At the same time you will see that these existing solutions also contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development goals.

More information:


Do you know about any Norwegian company that can match your sustainable profile?

- I know many Norwegian companies are working towards moving sustainability further, towards becoming restorative and even regenerative. Eyde Cluster is working with many of them.