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Seventh Generation: Committed to Impact

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B Lab

Committed to Impact

Founded in 1988, Seventh Generation is one of the nation’s most recognized brands of natural household and personal care products and could be credited with helping make our homes more safe by cleaning up their industry. For nearly 25 years, the company has created non-toxic cleaners and personal hygiene products and over the past five years their compound annual growth rate has been over 15%, and they’ve grown their high quality job base, doubling the size of their team to 113 in 2011.

They’ve achieved this growth while navigating choppy waters through an early ‘90s transition from catalogue to wholesale, a 1993 public offering that went private in 1999, significant layoffs during multiple recessions, and a large private equity investment and 2010 leadership transition that replaced their visionary long-time CEO.

Since all of Seventh Generation’s products, raw materials, byproducts, and processes are sustainable, not just those of one particular product line, the company’s overall environmental impact is impressive. Product sales in 2011 alone helped save 77,000 trees, 28 million gallons of water and enough energy to heat 1,700 US homes for a year. They also prevented 35,000 lbs of chlorine and 52,000 lbs of VOCs from being released into the environment. Constantly working to improve, between 2010 and 2011 the company decreased normalized greenhouse gas emissions by 8%, a change whose impact is equivalent to the removal of 283 cars from the road for a year. All told, since 1999, the company’s product sales have saved nearly 523,000 trees or 1.8 million barrels of petroleum - a “Lifetime Achievement” in and of itself.

Seventh Generation is also committed to giving back to the human environment. The company donates 10% of profits to charity and offers employees paid time off to volunteer. In 2011, employees donated a total of 1,400 hours toward improving the community. Moving an industry, preserving the environment and strengthening the community for 25 years - that’s a true Rockstar.

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