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Seventh Generation More than a Name

A name can say a lot about a company—where it comes from, what it makes—but for us, Seventh Generation is far more than just a name. It embodies the soul and spirt of who we are, what we strive to be, and what sets us apart.

We’ve always had the belief that you can’t live a healthy life on a sick planet. Every day that I come to work I’m reminded & inspired by the work our community does to nurture people & planet in all that we do. That mission inspired the origin of our name thirty years ago and continues to guide us in every product we make, and every action we take. It inspires our belief in a seventh generation to come.

Before we were Seventh Generation, we humbly began as Niche Marketing, opening our doors in Burlington, Vermont in 1988. When Niche acquired a mail-order catalog business that specialized in energy-, water-, and resource-saving products, an employee suggested the perfect name to guide this new endeavor: Seventh Generation. The name is based on an ancient Iroquois philosophy which instructs that “in our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”

We knew it was a big name to live up to, but even from the very beginning, we were thinking big about how we could prove that business can be a force for good in the world and help protect the health of future generations. Along the way, we raised the bar on corporate responsibility as a founding B Corp, championed radical transparency through ingredient disclosure and our annual corporate consciousness reports, and innovated to create more sustainable products. We were also one of 200 companies who recently made the 1.5 Degree Commitment to help slow the effects of climate change.

But as our mission to nurture the health of the next seven generations enters its fourth decade, we’re living through a time of unprecedented environmental crisis – one that stresses how important it is to ask how we not only live up to our name, but also stand with the indigenous communities that inspired it as they fight this crisis from the front lines.

In the ongoing fight for Climate Justice, we’ve been proud to stand alongside Sierra Club in their Ready for 100 campaign for renewable energy, and to help support bold climate legislation like the passing of New York’s CLCPA. We stood alongside the Youth Climate Movement as they asked others to join them in taking to the streets to during September’s #ClimateStrike, marking the largest climate protest in history. We’re also innovating more quickly, and more radically than ever, setting science-based targets to reduce our products’ carbon footprint and create less waste. We know as a business we must not only do better within our own walls but look to leaders within the movement for motivation & guidance – and push our industry to learn & change with us.

We’ve come to a crossroads. Now more than ever before, the health of future generations depends on the action we take today. Our children & their children need us to live up to the promise of our name – and we will, because we truly believe in the seventh generation to come and think about them in every decision we make. We’re living in a moment in history where our decisions can quite literally change the world. The work of the youth climate movement and the support seen across the biggest climate march in history has proven that there is power in the collective voice. This power of people coming together to radically shift our way of thinking has been seen throughout history. Which leads us all consider the question: what if we were meant to be someone else’s greatest generation?

The answer to this question lies in you, me, and thousands of others across industries ready to stand up & speak out in support of the urgent action needed to combat this climate crisis. We believe in a seventh generation to come and will fight for them to inherit the planet they deserve.

For the next seven generations,

 

Joey Bergstein,

CEO Seventh Generation

Joey Bergstein - Seventh Generation's CEO (alt large image is SVG logo)

Joey Bergstein joined Seventh Generation in 2011 and, together with the Seventh Generation team, has been transforming its business, while pursuing the company’s quest to transform the world into a healthier, more sustainable and more equitable place for all.