With concern for the next seven generations as our guiding principle, we feel a strong sense of urgency about the issue of climate change. As reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the focus of much of our environmental work, we are also active in pushing for strong, science-based legislation to address climate change. We joined a group of like-minded companies called BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy) to argue for bold climate change policies that will move us to a low-carbon economy while stimulating economic growth. Backed by companies such as Nike, Inc., Starbucks Corporation, Target Corporation and The Gap, Inc., BICEP has been successful in focusing attention on the climate change risks to businesses — many of whom have vast supply chains stretching around the globe — as well as on the powerful business opportunities of immediate action.
We were very hopeful in 2010 as there was both momentum and alignment among policy makers, the business community, labor leaders and environmental groups for passage of desperately needed climate legislation — and were extremely disheartened when the Senate failed to take action. Chris Miller, Manager of Corporate Consciousness, summed up the situation this way, “Companies as diverse as Seventh Generation and Nike, Inc., and Best Buy® all believe that climate change legislation is crucial to our economy moving forward. They fear negative impacts on their supply chains and fear the US is missing out on green economy opportunities. The congressional failure to adopt a climate policy puts our economy and our country at risk. The one bright spot this year was in California. When California’s landmark cap and trade legislation was presented to voters, they weighed in on the side of action. We only hope our Congress will follow suit in this session.”
Issue Advocacy: Toxics Reform
The ubiquitous presence of toxic chemicals in our environment, in our bodies, and even in our breast milk motivates us in our daily work as we seek to create healthy products. We think consumers should be protected from harmful chemicals in the everyday household items they purchase — but the Environmental Protection Agency has not even tested the safety of the vast majority of the 80,000 potentially harmful chemicals used today. We have been working to support changes to the sadly outdated Toxic Substances and Control Act of 1976. The United States needs legislation that will:
- take immediate action on the most dangerous chemicals;
- hold industry responsible for the safety of the chemicals they use; and
- protect the most vulnerable populations.
→ Read about our experience lobbying Congress for toxics reform.
Through our focus on toxics reform, we have begun to develop a deepening relationship with the Breast Cancer Fund which is an extremely effective organization working on cancer issues from a prevention perspective. We have also started to work with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to help them incorporate information on feminine care products into their communication to consumers on the hazards associated with personal care products.