Global Green honored its 2012 Millennium Award recipients this past weekend, including our own John Replogle who accepted the Corporate Environmental Leadership Award. The Millennium Awards were established in 1996 to recognize and herald those whose lives and livelihood embody Global Green USA's mission of "fostering a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure world."
Here is John's acceptance speech on behalf of Seventh Generation:
It's great to be here tonight on such a special occasion, among such distinguished guests and honorees.
It's my first trip back to L.A. since February when I was with my childhood idol --- a curmudgeonly, yet wise, furry little orange guy known as the Lorax.
And I had the chance to get surprisingly personal and "talk shop" with the voice of the Lorax, Danny Devito, who shared with me his very insightful suggestions about Seventh Generation's toilet paper.
Hey—the best ideas come when you least expect them, so please folks, feel free to scribble any product ideas on a cocktail napkin and pass 'em on up.
I want to start by thanking Matt Peterson, who so generously nominated Seventh Generation for this award.
There is nothing…..nothing better than being honored by your own.
Matt, who has so successfully led and championed the Global Green organization, is one who can truly appreciate what it takes to have pioneered in the sustainability arena.
It is, I believe, no small coincidence that both our organizations have been in the business of "sustainability" for more than two decades--before the term was coined and green was cool.
The real honor, of course, goes to Seventh Generation's founder, Jeffrey Hollender.
It was Jeffrey who had the vision and, frankly, the guts to believe that business could be the most powerful instrument for meaningful change on our planet.
That's the trail that Jeffrey blazed for me to follow—and it's easy to see a brighter future standing on the shoulders of giants.
Most awards usually celebrate something you've done in the past. For me, this award will propel us into the future. For, I believe, we can't solve tomorrow's problems with yesterday's solutions.
And in the spirit of standing on the shoulders of giants, I would be remiss if I didn't pay tribute to a remarkable leader, inspiration and mentor of mine—Ray Anderson.
Ray taught me two great lessons:
First, there is no time like the present to start your journey. You don't have to wait for the "spear in the chest" moment to realize it's never the wrong time to do the right thing
Second, he encouraged me to listen to that inner voice, sum up the moral courage to act and to use my leadership power. As a business leader, I have both the power and the responsibility to go out and help to solve the world's problems.
At Seventh Generation, we believe that our products set a course for a more mindful way of doing business, where companies act as partners with other stakeholders to create a bright future for the whole planet.
And we know that creating products that are...safe for everyone in your home is no small task—yet, for us, nothing is more important.
Simply put—we believe we can't help people live a healthy life on a sick planet.
Almost 25 years into this great adventure, we're still an independent, privately held company based in Vermont. We're a rapidly growing group of eclectic individuals dedicated to finding joy in life and purpose in our work.
So, on behalf of Jeffrey and 114 very proud Seventh Gen folks, my colleagues back in Burlington, Vermont, I thank you.
We are honored—and humbled—by this award and we thank you for recognizing Seventh Generation's legacy and encouraging our journey to a better tomorrow.