Household Company Pledges Non-Fossil Fuels by 2020
Seventh Generation Commits to Achieving 2020 Carbon Reduction Goals in Conjunction With Burlington, Vermont Visit From Former Vice President and Nobel Prize Winner, Al Gore
Seventh Generation, a leading household and personal care company, today confirmed its commitment to its goal of obtaining energy only from non-fossil fuel sources by 2020. The announcement was made in conjunction with Former Vice President Al Gore's visit to Burlington, Vermont where Gore presented "The Climate Crisis and the Case for Hope," his slide show presentation discussing the urgency of the climate crisis and the solutions available to meet this challenge. The event was hosted by Seventh Generation and The Energy Action Seminar/Clean Energy Fund at the University of Vermont. Earlier in the day, Gore met with a group of Vermont business leaders for a roundtable discussion of efforts to address climate change and to inspire these leaders to commit to achieving carbon reduction goals. He will also visit Seventh Generation headquarters to speak to employees.
To obtain energy for its contracted manufacturing, distribution, business travel, and employee commuting from only non-fossil fuel sources by 2020, thereby significantly reducing its carbon footprint, Seventh Generation will institute a range of initiatives including purchasing renewable energy for the electrical grids that supply its operations, buying agricultural biogas for its rural operations, and landfill gas for its urban operations. The company will use "book and claim" purchases of biodiesel for its distribution, and give preference to airlines that use bio jet fuel. "Creating demand for these sources of energy today will create greater supply tomorrow, just as our demand for biobased ingredients a decade ago created an abundant supply today," said John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation.
The company also declared today that it supports a carbon tax in Vermont, a price on carbon at the federal level and in the interim, will be imposing its own carbon fee, making the costs and consequences of climate change opportunities and risks tangible to the entire company.
Although not part of its 2020 goals, the company is reducing sales-normalized greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its products and packaging too, as the majority of its GHG impacts occur during raw material processing. According to Replogle, "Seventh Generation's product design and material selection offer powerful reduction opportunities. Moving away from petroleum-based ingredients and toward biobased materials and recycled content reduces Seventh Generation's environmental impact." In 2014, while absolute emissions by the company remained flat, sales-normalized emissions declined 12%.
Seventh Generation was the recipient of a $30 million investment from Generation Investment Management (GIM) in 2014. The investment helps accelerate Seventh Generation's core growth through innovation, investment and acquisition of other mission-led brands. GIM is dedicated to long-term investing, integrated sustainability research, and client alignment. GIM's Climate Solutions team seeks to invest in growth businesses that it believes can generate attractive returns by being part of the transition to a low carbon economy.
"We have to take a stand on the climate crisis. We have momentum with this. There is tremendous leadership here in Vermont in the political landscape and the business community and let's not forget that political will is a renewable resource," said Mr. Gore.
"Decreasing our carbon footprint is mission-critical for Seventh Generation in caring for the next seven generations," said Mr. Replogle. "We're not only appreciative of Al Gore and GIM's support in helping us move towards our sustainability goals, but thankful for his dedication and persistence in educating our company, and the public, on the dangers of the world's climate crisis and ways we can help solve it."
About Seventh Generation
Established in 1988, in Burlington, Vermont, Seventh Generation is one of the nation's leading brands of household and personal care products. The company lives its commitment to "caring today for seven generations of tomorrows," with products formulated to provide mindful solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home -- and for the community and environment outside of it. A pioneer in corporate responsibility, Seventh Generation continually evaluates ways to reduce its environmental impact, increase performance and safety, and create a more sustainable supply chain. To learn more about Seventh Generation products and business practices, locate a retailer in your area, or review Seventh Generation's Corporate Consciousness Report, click here.