Spotlight on Seventh Generation
Are you gearing up for some spring cleaning? Keep it green with Seventh Generation! They’re basking in the glow of the Co-op Spotlight this week and member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of products from April 15th – 21st! Read on to learn more about their energy-efficient practices, socially responsible business model, their fight for labeling transparency for cleaning products, and their impressive efforts to tackle climate change:
More than 30 years ago, a group of like-minded individuals came together to create Seventh Generation, a company dedicated to nurturing the health of the next seven generations. They do that by creating everyday products using plant-based ingredients, and by creating positive policy change through their mission and advocacy work. They’re on a mission to transform the world into a healthy, sustainable & equitable place for the next seven generations.
As a mission-driven B-Corps business, Seventh Generation aims to pioneer a more mindful way of doing business. They remain committed to examining their impacts as a business and considering the principles that matter to them as a company: responsible sourcing; using materials from plants, not petroleum; ensuring the health of our planet and the people on it; having an engaged, motivated workforce; and caring for their community. They track their progress toward these goals and present them with total transparency. Click here to check out their most recent impact assessment.
Not Business As Usual
Our planet’s future and the health of generations to come is far too important for business as usual, which is why Seventh Generation constantly strives to make their products more sustainable, why they’re racing to reduce their carbon footprint and become a zero-waste company by 2025, and why they’re advocating for climate justice. They stand with the Youth Climate Movement and seek to use their platform to elevate the voices and initiatives championed by the leaders of the Movement who have heard the call and stepped up to lead the charge.
As many climate activists have noted, though, this movement is about more than just switching to a renewable energy economy and curbing our fossil fuel usage. It’s about demanding true Climate Justice. It’s about changing our energy usage in a way that is fair and equitable so that frontline communities and those among us who are most vulnerable aren’t compromised in the process—as they often are. The students have raised their voices and the team at Seventh Generation feels compelled to not only stand beside them but also to take action and use their own ability to affect change to help the movement grow and create the healthy future all of us deserve. As a sustainable business, Seventh Generation feels a responsibility to fight for that future and they invite you to join them. Click here to read more about their ongoing Climate Justice efforts.
Envisioning A Zero Waste Future
Packaging is more than just a container to the folks at Seventh Generation. In every packaging decision they make, they consider the impact on the health, safety, and sustainability of people and the planet. And as industry leaders in their use of post-consumer recycled plastic, their sustainable packaging embodies their mission to nurture the health of today and the next seven generations. By 2025, they aspire to reach their goal that 100% of their packaging will be reusable and reused, recyclable and recycled, or biodegradable and degraded.
But recently, the company doubled down and shifted tactics to involve moving away from plastic completely, starting with a new line called Zero Plastic Homecare.
“What we realized is that we really need to take action and move ourselves as a business away from plastic, because as good as the plastic is or as little you use, recycling alone will never solve the problem,” says Seventh Generation CEO Joey Bergstein. In the U.S., according to an EPA report last year with the most recent data, only around 9.1% of plastic waste is recycled; another 15.5% is burned. The rest—26 million tons per year—ends up in landfills. That’s despite years of effort to improve recycling rates.
To eliminate plastic in the new line, the company rethought the products themselves. By using non-liquid products, the containers don’t need plastic to act as a “moisture barrier.” “If we remove plastic from the equation, that means removing the liquid from the equation as well,” says Joe Giallanella, who leads the company’s growth incubator, the team tasked with eliminating plastic from packaging. The cleaning power of these liquid-free tablets and powders is activated with water when you are ready. A fundamental clean is achieved without the use of dyes, bleach, wrappers, or plastic. And they will biodegrade once you are done with your cleaning routine.
For now, these products are available exclusively through Grove Collaborative online. This will allow Seventh Generation to test the products with a smaller audience before going more mainstream. We look forward to seeing how these work!
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the health and livelihood of millions every day, Seventh Generation is thinking hard about how best to support and uplift their communities, especially those who need help the most. First, they have significantly increased production of the essential cleaning and household products people and families need. They are working closely with retail partners to continually restock products to meet the unprecedented increase in demand. They’re also continuing to assess where their voice as a business can be most effective in spurring and supporting systemic change that nurtures this and future generations.
For the past several years, they’ve been outspoken advocates for climate justice and equity because they know that vulnerable and marginalized populations are the first and worst affected by the climate crisis. Now, as they raise their voice and channel their resources in response to the COVID-19 crisis, they remain more committed than ever to supporting equity and justice. It is their strong belief that the solutions created to battle this crisis must be equitable and that they must address the vulnerable and marginalized communities that are experiencing the effects of COVID-19 first and worst.
Now is the time to invest in people and the planet, and as solutions are proposed to respond to COVID-19, Seventh Generation has pushed for stimulus and relief packages that put the people first. That’s why Seventh Generation has endorsed the People’s Bailout, a comprehensive approach to recovery and relief built around the needs of the everyday people who need the most support. They have asked our elected leaders to act in line with the People’s Bailout principles, which put us all on a path toward a society that leaves no one behind.
The Fight for Ingredient Disclosure
Seventh Generation firmly believes that you have the right to know what is in the products you buy, which is why they helped launch the #comeclean campaign. Through this campaign, they aim to air the cleaning industry’s dirty laundry. They support state and federal legislation to require manufacturers of both consumer household and industrial cleaning products to disclose all intentionally added ingredients, including fragrance components, on their product labels and on their websites. Thanks to their vigilant efforts, landmark legislation (SB 258-California’s Cleaning Product Right to Know Act) was passed which required that, by 2020, companies must list certain ingredients on their packaging and website. It’s a major step forward in the fight for ingredient transparency and affirms our collective right to know what’s in the products we buy. This victory wouldn’t have been possible without the emails, calls, texts, and tweets from our collective community. Seventh Generation encourages you to get involved.