SOURCE: Interface, Inc.

Interface, Inc.

April 04, 2011 07:00 ET

U.S. Workers Declare Employers' Dedication to Environment as Important as Profit When Evaluating a New Workplace, Interface, Inc. Survey Finds

Global Leader in Environmentally Responsible Modular Carpet Polls Workplace Preferences, Introduces Two of Its Own Facilities in New York City and Taicang, China

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - April 4, 2011) - A new study on workplace values shows American workers seek employment with organizations that are both financially successful and mindful about their impact on and commitment to protecting the environment. A public opinion survey conducted by Harris Interactive National Quorum on behalf of Interface, Inc. (NASDAQ: IFSIA) reveals that 63 percent of full-time workers believe a company's impact on the environment is vital when evaluating a new workplace, and 61 percent say the same about the company's profit margin. Meanwhile, an even greater majority -- 71 percent -- value a commitment to sustainability, defined in this study as "environmental protection," as an important or very important criteria.

"There is broad recognition that companies that focus on sustainability, or protecting and preserving the environment, are appealing to American workers," said Dan Hendrix, president and CEO of Interface. "Profits are obviously the lifeblood of any company, but what we see here is that employees want their organizations to have more purpose. These results speak to a lasting trend about the kind of long-term-focused organizations that employees want to belong to."

This telephone study was conducted between February 23 and 27, 2011 among 504 U.S. adults employed full-time to learn and share opinion for ideals about workplace preferences. The study also revealed gender disparities in how employees evaluate potential employers. For instance, 78 percent of female employees felt a company's impact on the environment was particularly important, while 52 percent of male workers believed the same. These findings could point to an opportunity for organizations focused on reducing their impacts on the environment to attract and retain women in leadership positions.

Other results showed the extent to which employees feel engaged with their current companies. National findings carried an overall optimistic tone despite the still-challenging economic climate, with:

  • 81 percent of full-time workers saying they are familiar with their company's mission statement.

  • 84 percent of full-time workers agreeing that the company they work for shares their views on what is important in life.

  • 64 percent of full-time employees claiming involvement in company initiatives outside the scope of their everyday responsibilities.

Interface, the worldwide leader in design, production and sales of environmentally responsible modular carpet, offered the results of its survey in conjunction with recent openings of its new manufacturing facility in Taicang, China and a new FLOR retail store in the SoHo district of New York City. The study reflected U.S. workers' sentiments about business and the environment in both countries with 76 percent of U.S. full-time workers believing that businesses based in the U.S. are implementing policies that protect and preserve the environment. On the other hand, only 25 percent of full-time U.S. workers believe the same about businesses based in China.

Interface Workplace Values in Action: New Factory, New Store
According to Hendrix, Interface's own workplaces are physical manifestations of company core values and culture. "Survey findings underscore the importance of uniting Interface's workers to a common purpose. Interface has engaged employees across generations and geographies united by a shared commitment to sustainability; whether someone is a factory worker in China, a retail store salesperson in SoHo or an engineer in Georgia, you will see this shared value on display," he said. Hendrix added, "Interface employs consistent sustainability goals for workplaces in the United States, China and all over the world."

On March 24, Interface opened its newest InterfaceFLOR commercial factory in Taicang, China with a focus on sustainable design, quality customer service, efficient operations and premium products. The Taicang manufacturing facility will supply carpet products that have high recycled content -- specifically for the greater China market. Instead of building from the ground up, an existing building was re-furbished and upgraded with equipment in-line with the same high performance and environmental standards of Interface manufacturing systems worldwide. The building adheres to the design specifications of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction (LEED-NC) accreditation program.

Similarly, on March 31, Interface opened a brand new retail store for its FLOR residential products in New York City's SoHo neighborhood, establishing a brand presence in one of the most influential design hubs in the world. The newest FLOR store offers the opportunity to experience the beauty and benefits of the FLOR design system in an environmentally-progressive retail space. For the new store, designers altered the existing spaces as little as possible, used locally-sourced labor and materials, as well as energy efficient lighting throughout. The store promises a "sensory" atmosphere where employees can help customers mix and match beautiful styles to create a custom rug design.

Power of One Workplace Mission
 
Interface has been a sustainability pioneer since the early 1990s. After having his "spear in the chest" epiphany, Chairman and Founder Ray Anderson altered the direction of the company forever. He changed Interface from an industrial "take, make, waste" organization to one focused on becoming a sustainable company, positively affecting the culture of the organization. His original vision has evolved into a mission, one now called "Mission Zero®," Interface's aim to eliminate any negative impact its companies may have on the environment. Today, Interface stands as a leading-edge example of an organization journeying toward sustainability. Interface also believes that as a shared purpose, Mission Zero has united its workers around the globe.

"In opening new facilities in both the U.S. and China, Interface is taking into account its overriding global business objectives aligned with the Mission Zero commitment, which our global employee base lives out on a daily basis. The findings from the study reinforce the type of restorative influence that we are trying to share inside and outside of our organization," explained Hendrix.

Survey Methodology
This telephone survey was conducted by Harris Interactive National Quorum within the United States on behalf of Interface, Inc. between Feb. 23 and 27, 2011 among a nationwide cross-section of 504 U.S. adults who are employed full-time. Figures for age, sex, race, education, region, number of adults in household, and number of telephone lines were weighted where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. In theory, with probability samples of this size, one could say with 95 percent certainty that the results for the overall sample have a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. A full methodology and executive summary of findings is available upon request.

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com or contact achoksi@harrisinteractive.com.

About Interface, Inc.
Established in 1973, Interface, Inc. (IFSIA) is the worldwide leader in design, production and sales of environmentally responsible modular carpet, manufactured for the commercial and institutional markets under the InterfaceFLOR® brand, and for residential markets as FLOR®. The company is also a leading designer and manufacturer of commercial broadloom under the Bentley Prince Street® brand.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Jeff Conlin
    Interface, Inc.
    (630) 621-5543
    Email Contact

    Stephen Brown
    MSL Atlanta for Interface, Inc.
    (404) 870-6857
    Email Contact