IKEA's North American headquarters, or service center as it was called, was located behind the retail store in Plymouth Meeting outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On the landing where co-workers went up to the second floor to the president's office was a low pedestal holding a large grey rock brought from the rocky and poor land in Almhult, the small village in the province of Smaland, Sweden where IKEA's founder was born and where the design and production core of IKEA's business was still located. In September 1995, Jan Kjellman, new President of the U.S. and Canadian subsidiary, sat at his Scandinavian modern desk in the open, brightly sun-lit bay with his assistant (who was also the service center office manager) at a desk a few feet away. People passed through one side of the bay, heading for the coffee room. Jan had just taken over responsibility from Goran Carstedt who had turned around the subsidiary's operations since 1991 and had moved back to Sweden to take responsibility for worldwide marketing and the European retail stores. Since 1990 North American sales had risen to over $700 million, moving the company to number three in the U.S. market. Jan contemplated the agenda before him. One important piece of that agenda was the company's environmental stance in North America.