Seventh Generation's Climate Action Contribution
About Seventh Generation's Climate Efforts
of our most ambitious goals and one of our biggest challenges. In 2017, we saw improvements in our
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to
employee commuting, business travel, and
product materials. We also further reduced our
carbon footprint by offsetting our facility and
production energy use, employee commuting,
business travel, and product distribution
through purchase of verified carbon offsets
through the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Nevertheless, our absolute greenhouse gas
emissions increased by 26% from 2012 (a 72%
increase from 2012 excluding the effect of
offsets purchased in 2017). This was driven byincreased product transportation, packaging materials
and ingredient conversion emissions associated with
rising product sales. In balance, our emissions intensity
(GHG emissions per unit mass of product) decreased by
32% from 2012 (a 7% decrease from 2012 excluding the
effect of offsets purchased in 2017).
Even with this progress, we know we must accelerate
our programs. With the backing of our Social Mission
Board, we’ve committed to boosting our climate strategy
dramatically by committing to an aggressive
science based greenhouse gas reduction target.
Climate Action Commitments
Current Climate Actions Seventh Generation Is Taking:
Commit to Remove Commodity-driven Deforestation from Supply Chains
Restoring our forest’s ability to store carbon on a global scale is a critical and cost-effective climate mitigation solution. Making a commitment to eliminate deforestation means setting targets to assure key commodities in your supply chain (like palm, soy, beef, paper and pulp) are from deforestation-free sources. An ideal target could be to establish a disclosure and reporting plan for your supply chain and/or conversion to 100% deforestation-free commodities by 2020.
Commit to Reduce Climate Impacts of Packaging and Reducing Waste
There are many ways to reduce the climate impact of packaging including reducing materials (i.e., “source reduction”); replacing virgin materials with post-consumer recycled content; replacing traditional plastics made from fossil fuels with biopolymers; re-designing packaging to be more compact and therefore efficient for transport and storage; using biodegradable packing materials; and recycling at end of the packaging’s life to name just a few practices.
Commit to Responsible Engagement in Climate Policy
While individual organization action is necessary, local and federal government action is also needed to reach global climate goals. Your organization can have a critical voice in advancing public policy. A commitment to responsible engagement in climate policy means that your organization commits to supporting public policy to: promote energy efficiency and renewable energy; increase investment in a clean energy economy; support climate change adaptation, or put a price on carbon.
Commit to Building Climate Resilience in your Community
By committing to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate, companies and institutions can secure their operations and supply chains and conserve natural resources that are stressed due to climate change. While there is much a business can do within their community, primary among these options is reducing water usage. Organizations can commit to increase their own water security through a range of actions, including installing water-saving devices, capturing rainwater for onsite uses, and recycling grey water. Or just commit to get engaged with your community in resilience planning.
Commit to Understand and Reduce Your Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Understanding your GHG emissions is the first step to making measurable reductions in those emissions. The EPA provides an overview report and CoolClimate Network provides a simple tool for “low emitters” to better understand sources of emissions, as well as how to use that information to set reduction targets. For this commitment, it is as simple as committing to complete a greenhouse gas inventory for your business or oganization, but in the future your inventory can be used to make a commitment to set a specific goal, such as “reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2025.
New Climate Actions Seventh Generation Commits To Take:
Commit to Reducing the Climate Impact of Your Transportation
Organizations making a commitment to reduce the climate impact of transportation should consider practices such as measuring transportation greenhouse gas emissions and setting reduction targets, switching fuels, optimizing the efficiency of shipping operations, and reducing transit- and travel-related greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses can develop a green transportation action plan to map the movement of goods to market and identify opportunities to increase efficiency. Organizations can buy hybrid and electric vehicles within their own fleet, and can reduce the footprint of their workforce through incentivizing public transportation, installing EV charging stations, promoting telework, and locating near transit centers.
Commit to Increase Your Use of Renewable Power
Increasing your percentage of renewable energy sources is a key component of reducing overall GHG emissions. Installing onsite renewable generation, like solar panels, is a good long-term strategy if possible. But renewable energy can also be procured through Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), renewable power purchasing agreements (PPAs), and in some locations from retail electricity providers or local utilities that offers a high percentage of renewable power. Also consider becoming an EPA Green Power Partner.
Commit to Increase Energy Efficiency
Most companies begin by assessing energy usage or performing an energy audit to identify opportunities to increase energy efficiency throughout their facilities and operations. Energy reduction targets can be framed as either absolute reductions or reductions that are normalized per unit of production, such as per tons shipped, per dollars of revenue produced, or other relevant business metric. Some examples of commitments that can be taken include:
- Conducting an energy audit or request a meeting with your building owner to explore scheduling an audit
- Upgrading HVAC system to a more efficient model
- Upgrading lights in your office/facility to LEDs
- Upgrading insulation and windows
- Replacing appliances in your office with Energy Star-rated models
- Instituting a company policy of turning off lights other electronics when not in use.
Areas For Collaboration
We are interested in collaborating on the following:
- Collaborate on climate and clean energy action, and to advocate for stronger climate policy at the local level
- Encouraging more aggressive state renewable energy policies
- Supporting states, cities, and utilities in decarbonizing their energy supply
For 25 years Seventh Generation has created products for healthy homes by using plant-derived ingredients. We believe that since nature never stops evolving, neither should we. Seventh Generation products offer effective solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people in your home. By working to reduce pollution and preserve natural resources, we help make the world a better place for this and the next seven generations. We believe that with each new product we make, we must also build new ways of caring for ourselves and the world around us. If we use the power of business for good, we can start a movement that will change an entire industry.
We made a promise the moment we named our brand.
It’s a promise that every decision, every product will be made with careful consideration of how it affects the well-being of the next seven generations. It’s our belief that the best way to live is with our future in mind, to work each day through the eyes of our children. Because our future generations deserve a planet that’s at least as livable as the one we have right now.
We're giving the world a solution.
Martin Wolf, Seventh Generation Director of Product Sustainability and Authenticity, spent 18 years getting phosphates out of cleaning products. Today, he helps Seventh Generation remove fossil fuels from every product we manufacture. “When Seventh Generation makes a product with a plant-based (biobased) ingredient,” says Wolf, “we’re borrowing carbon from the carbon cycle. But it isn’t enough that we source our product ingredients from biobased materials. Those biobased materials must also be designed to biodegrade. When the ingredient biodegrades, it is being returned to the carbon cycle, ready for reuse as a plant, animal or perhaps another Seventh Generation product. By working with Nature’s cycles, we’re caring today for the next seven generations — and beyond.”
Caring today for seven generations of tomorrows.
If we’re truly focused on caring for seven generations of tomorrows, how do we care for what you need today? It’s really quite simple. In caring for the future, we believe we are creating brighter solutions for right now. Solutions for your home, your family, your environment that protect and nurture your well-being today open the door to a more sustainable world for generations yet to come. And in making this conscious choice, we believe the earth will return the favor and continue to care for us too.