Sales of Seventh Generation’s non-toxic household products, have saved 140,000 trees, 191 billion BTUs of energy, more than 50 million gallons of water, and nearly 1.5 gallons of petroleum, according to the company’s 2008 corporate responsibility report. In addition, the company’s total carbon footprint fell 23 percent in 2008, to 63,481 metric tons of CO2e from 51,656 metric tons in 2007.
The 2008 Corporate Consciousness Report details achievements including a new sustainable palm oil initiative as part of the company’s sustainable sourcing strategy, elimination of synthetic fragrances in products and the creation of a Manufacturing Partner Sustainability Summit.
One of Seventh Generation’s goals is to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80 percent by 2050, through 2 percent annual reductions. To help reduce emissions, the company has implemented a decentralized manufacturing and distribution network to reduce delivery miles to retailers by 48 percent in 2009, which also reduces freight cost.
In 2008, transport-related GHG emissions increased by 27 percent due to growth, according to the report, although emissions per ton of product shipped remained unchanged, and emissions per sales decreased by 24 percent over the past two years.
Here are several other environmental highlights in 2008. The company increased its use of recycled materials by 34 percent and its use of renewable materials by 40 percent, while water use stayed the same as in 2007.
In the area of packaging, 30 percent of Seventh Generation’s product boxes are now made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, with the goal to use 100 percent PCR by 2009. The company also switched to 50 percent pre-consumer recycled content from 0 percent for lighter towel and tissue low-density polyethylene (LDPE) bags.
The company is also on track to meet its near-term goal of 75 percent PCR in content bottles. So far, the company has switched 2 out of 11 bottles to 75 percent PCR.
Seventh Generation also established a more comprehensive set of product testing protocols in 2008, which now includes testing for 164 different chemicals. The company says all of its cleaning products will be free of formaldehyde by 2009.
In addition, Seventh Generation says it’s partnering with Justmeans.com, an online network for responsible business, to develop an online book designed to become a guide for companies in a new era of corporate social responsibility