Seventh Generation, a leading brand of non-toxic bio-based and renewable consumer products, has achieved a 16 percent reduction in virgin plastic use and a 13 percent decrease in normalized greenhouse gas emissions — all despite a 9 percent increase in sales, according to its 2012 Corporate Consciousness Report.
This year's report is organized around an employee-led realignment of the company's mission into four corporate aspirations: Nurturing Nature, Enhancing Health, Transforming Commerce and Building Communities.
Some other highlights from the report include the development of a 100 percent bio-based laundry detergent surfactant; the creation of the world's first mass-market, plant-based skin care system; certification of 74 products by the USDA's BioPreferred Program; introduction of a new diaper that's made with 10 percent less wood, energy and water; and development of the world's only bar soap made from sustainably sourced palm oil.
On the social front, Seventh Generation continued to aid the many communities of which it is a member. The company says it donated $275,000 to organizations working to make the world a better place, such as Women's Voices for the Earth, the Breast Cancer Fund and Informed Green Solutions, an organization working to protect indoor environments.
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At the same time, Seventh Generation's employee volunteer program, which pays staff members to lend a hand in the larger world, reached 100 percent participation for the first time as employees assisted local schools, food shelves, homeless shelters and conservation projects.
The company also worked with organizations such as Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy and the American Cleaning Institute to bring sustainability and transparency to the consumer products industry and promote better regulation of toxic chemicals. Seventh Generation was one of several signatories of a “Climate Declaration” to urge federal policymakers to take action on climate change.
"In our 2012 report we've recommitted ourselves to making the world a better place, taking a hard look at the social and environmental issues we face as a company and developing goals to drive progress on these issues," said Ashley Orgain, Seventh Generation’s Manager of Mission Advocacy and Outreach. "We've additionally infused these goals into our day-to-day activities, tying four of our sustainability goals to our annual incentive program."