Geanne van Arkel is Head of Sustainable Development at Interface for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Since joining Interface 15 years ago Geanne has embedded sustainability practices aligned to Sustainable Development Goals across the business. Focused on full product transparency based on life cycle assessments, and the need for cross-sectoral cooperation to realise an inclusive low-carbon, circular and biobased economy, Geanne has spearheaded the adoption of processes that have helped build a better business while contributing to a better world. She has a background in textile engineering and holds a Master degree in Biomimicry from the Arizona State University. Regularly she gives guest lectures at universities on how to integrate sustainability in a company’s strategy, learning from nature, and how to embed sustainability in an organization.
Interface has operated within the circular economy for over 20 years. As one of the first companies of its kind to publicly commit to sustainability with its Mission Zero pledge in 1994 to become a restorative company by 2020, eliminating any negative impact the company might have. More recently, the company has set out to work towards becoming regenerative, so not only learning from nature, but really functioning as nature.
“Creating a climate fit for life is only possible through cross sector cooperation and knowledge sharing. Using our collective insight combined with what nature tells us will move us from restorative to regenerative, so not only learning from nature, but functioning as nature. Driving inclusive, biobased and circular low carbon products, processes and business models contributes to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals and has the potential to reverse climate change, arguably the biggest challenge facing the world.”