Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s Executive Director John Lanier

John A. Lanier joined the Ray C. Anderson Foundation as Executive Director in May 2013. Serving in this role has been an immense honor, and he feels privileged to work with his family to advance the legacy of Ray, his grandfather. Lanier’s passion for environmental stewardship was sparked by Ray’s example and story, and he never tires of sharing this story with others. For those that don’t know, Ray Anderson was the founder and chairman of Interface. He was a pioneer in building product sustainability and proved how sustainability can make good business sense.

Prior to joining the Foundation, John Lanier was an associate attorney with Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan, LLP, specializing in U.S. Federal taxation. He represented the interests of various Atlanta-based nonprofits, gaining experience in nonprofit formations, compliance and applications for recognition of tax-exempt status. During that time, the Ray C. Anderson Foundation was one of his clients.

Lanier currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Southface, the southeast’s nonprofit leader in the promotion of sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance. Lanier was a member of the 2014 class of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (IGEL).

Lanier earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law, and he holds Bachelor of Arts Degrees in History and Economics from the University of Virginia. He is an Atlanta native who simply enjoys life. Lanier is blessed to be married to Chantel, a truly wonderful woman, and the two of them have two children, Joseph Ray (J.R.) and Cecilia.

Show Highlights

  • Learn Interface’s journey as they climbed mount sustainability. 
  • John shares his grandfather’s insights on how a company could be profitable and responsible to the planet.
  • How business can be a force for good in the world? 
  • John lets you know if the current economic system that has generated more quality of life than any other is sustainable. 
  • John explains how Atlanta’s soccer club, Atlanta United represents the sustainability movement. 
  • Why John says we need a systems level approach to sustainability, a redesign of our economic system?

“We need as many people understanding the intricacies, the nuances of what it takes to solve sustainability challenges as possible, and that requires people being willing to read and listen to podcasts like this and go deep on these issues. Becoming experts in as many different areas within sustainability as possible. It’s hard work. It takes time, but it’s a rewarding journey.” 

-John Lanier

Full Transcript

(Available on here and on the GBES website)

Show Resources

Ray Anderson TED Talk

Mid-Course Correction Revisited 

Ecocentricity Blog 



Ray C. Anderson Foundation

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

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