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Ten years hence

Jeffrey Hollender, Co-Founder and former President and CEO, Seventh Generation

February 18, 2011

Jeffrey Hollender

Jeffrey Hollender is the Co-Founder and former President and CEO of Seventh Generation, the leading brand of natural household products in the United States. Seventh Generation is the leading brand of natural household products in the United States. The Company’s brand name products include: paper towels, bathroom and facial tissue, napkins and paper plates made from 100% recycled fiber and manufactured without the use of chlorine bleach; cleaning and laundry products that are renewable resource based, phosphate free, and biodegradable; and natural baby diapers and wipes. The Company markets and distributes to natural food stores, supermarkets, mass merchandisers and mail-order catalogs in the United States and Canada.

In 1977, inspired by Ivan Illich's book Deschooling Society, Hollender set up a non-profit learning exchange called the Skills Exchange of Toronto, which offered classes on a wide range of issues, from the practical and professional to the political.  In 1979, he returned to his native New York City where he found financial success by starting Network for Learning, another adult education program and audio publishing company, which he sold to Warner Publishing, a division of Warner Communications, in 1985.  In 1989, Hollender helped to start Seventh Generation.

Hollender is a member and former Director of the Social Venture Network, a group of socially conscious business executives.  He co-founded and was a Director of Community Capital Bank, a New York financial institution that invests in affordable housing and community development.  He was also an Advisor to The Council on Economic Priorities' best-selling guidebook, Shopping for a Better World. Hollender served as President of The Rainforest Foundation USA from 1992 to 1996, an organization created to protect the rainforest and the human rights of its indigenous peoples. He also served as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. He also served on the Advisory Board to the 2006 Fast Company / Monitor Group Social Capitalist Awards.

Hollender recently co-founded the American Sustainable Business Council, a progressive alternative to the Chamber of Commerce that currently has over 50,000 members. Currently Hollender serves on the Board of Directors of Greenpeace US; Verite, a leading international advocate of workers rights; Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility; The Environmental Health Fund and Alloy Inc., a publicly traded company. Hollender also serves on the board of advisors of Healthy Child, Healthy World, and the David O'Brien Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University.

Hollender has worked with some of the nations largest business in their efforts to become more sustainable and responsible companies including: Wal-Mart, Nike, Microsoft and Kimberly Clark.

Hollender’s writing frequently appears in a wide variety of publications ranging from the Harvard Business Review, Strategy & Business, the Huffington Post, and  He is the author of How to Make the World a Better Place: A Guide for Doing Good and “What Matters Most; How a visionary group of pioneers are teaching social responsibility to big business - and why big business is listening.

Jeffrey Hollender and his wife Sheila have three children and live in Charlotte, Vermont. 

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