Top Companies Report

38. Seventh Generation

June 29, 2012

Burlington, VT
802.658.3773
www.seventhgeneration.com
Sales: $165 million.

Key Personnel: John Replogle, chief executive officer and president; Tim Fowler, chief scientific officer; Joey Bergstein, chief marketing officer.

Major Products: Natural 4X Laundry Detergent, Natural Dish Liquid, Free & Clear Baby Diapers & Wipes.

New Products: Natural Oxy Stain Remover, Natural Laundry Stain Remover, Wee Generation Baby Personal Care Line, Free & Clear Overnights and Training Pants. To be launched: Natural Personal Care line, Natural Monodose laundry, Natural Hand Care Dish Liquid and Natural Specialty Spray cleaners.

Comments: This year, the company welcomed branding expert Joey Bergstein as its new chief marketing officer. He joined Seventh Generation from Diageo, a leading premium spirits company, where he was senior vice president of global rum.


Seventh Generation revamped its home care and added some new SKUs too.
In November 2011, Seventh Generation was named a 2011 Leader for Change by the United Nations and the Foundation for Social Change. Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle accepted the award at a special presentation at the United Nations Global Conference for Social Change in New York City.



Replogle elaborated on the company’s mission to embrace a triple bottom line that balances people, planet and profit in an interview with event moderator and The New York Times editor Jane Bornemeier.

“Seventh Generation has received an incredible number of honors in our 23-year history, but I’m not sure that we’ve ever received one as meaningful as this,” said Replogle. “It’s a tremendous acknowledgement of the progress we’ve been making to pursue our company’s purpose to have an impact beyond profit. I think it speaks to a growing global desire to find better ways of doing business, leading industry and serving consumers. The old business model focused exclusively on profit is no longer viable and the world needs to forge new economic and social systems built on sustainability.
This award recognizes that Seventh Generation is well on the path to this new model.”

Following the commendation, the brand announced a reformulation of its best-selling laundry products. The new all-natural, plant-derived surfactant made its debut in Seventh Generation 2X laundry liquid and is now available in a new industry-leading 4Xformula that delivers excellent cleansing at the half the dosage of standard 2X formulas while cutting shipping and storage requirements in half, the firm said.

The upgraded formula also contains new enzymes that target a wider array of stains and appreciably boost the product’s already impressive cleaning power in both standard and HE machines.

The innovation responsible for this distinction is a brand new surfactant derived entirely from plant-based materials that were developed by the company and Rhodia. The unique surfactant, which combines ethylene oxide derived from sugar cane and plant-derived lauryl alcohol, contains no petroleum and features outstanding detergent properties, the company said.

As a result of this “dramatic breakthrough in detergent technology,” Seventh Generation’s new laundry detergent has become one of just a handful of products in the nation to be awarded the US Department of Agriculture’s new BioPreferred seal, which certifies products that are entirely or significantly made from renewable agricultural ingredients and materials. The new labeling program is intended to help consumers make purchases that reduce dependence on petroleum, boost rural economies, and alleviate climate change.

“It’s hard to overstate just how big this is,” said Replogle. “It’s a cleaning industry holy grail of sorts and something we’ve been working on for a long time. Thanks to this new chemistry, we’ve created a premium high performance laundry detergent and dramatically boosted the overall renewable content of our laundry liquid from 77% to 97%.”

This April, Seventh Generation celebrated the one-year anniversary of the USDA Certified Biobased label and certification of 13 of the company’s offerings—and to commemorate the event, the Burlington, VT-based company said all of its eligible formulated products will be 100% USDA Biobased Certified by 2020.

The biobased product certification and labeling initiative, which was launched last year as a new part of USDA’s BioPreferred program, initially certified 13 Seventh Generation products from the company’s bathtub cleaner and dish soap to liquid laundry detergent.

In other news, Seventh Generation boosted its outreach to the youth market. Besides debuting a six-piece personal care range for babies, it partnered with Universal Partnerships & Licensing (UP&L) to support the release of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.” This marked the first-ever major studio film promotion for Seventh Generation.

Through Earth Month, Seventh Generation encouraged its consumers to consider products that are “Lorax Approved.” At the cornerstone of their promotion, Seventh Generation unveiled a new liquid laundry detergent bottle made from 100% recycled cardboard and newspaper. The container, which prominently features Lorax images, uses 66% less plastic than typical 100oz 2X detergent bottles, allowing consumers to conserve effortlessly, according to the company.


 
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