On Wednesday, June 13, our Global Warming task team (called the Carbon 42 task team) rolled out the 7th Gen climate change program 20/20 by 2010 to the employees of 7th Gen and to two of our manufacturing partners. We as a company (and we as humans occupying present earth) are aiming to reduce our overall carbon footprint by 20% while increasing our use of renewables by 20% all by the year 2010.

The rollout included a moment of theatrical indulgence (above) to inspire people to be more aware of their carbon impact both at home and in the everyday operations of 7th Gen. The theme of the play was to shift thinking away from offsetting carbon impacts to designing new reduction strategies to meet our goals of 20/20 by 2010.

To get people at this new level of awareness, the Carbon 42 task team developed one of the most sophisticated (and evolving) carbon calculators (for internal use only, now) that will not only tell people their carbon footprint, but will also store their data so that as time ticks on they can measure their activity. And even more…we are encouraging employees to design their lives to be carbon-less and 7th Gen will extend our present energy incentive program to help fund these projects. More to come…

C-42 Team

Every once in a while you are privileged to be able to work with people who have found a way to tackle some of the toughest challenges our society faces. While I’m passionate about politics, the environment, and health care, nothing is of greater concern to me than issues of justice & equity. And while we know that systemically all these issues are related, choosing to work on creating a new paradigm for low income, minority women is work that most of us are simply unable or unwilling to do.

Creating the opportunity for women to build a life for them selves and their families on a foundation of secure, respectable, and reasonably-paid employment is a dream that is beyond the reach of many Americans. WAGES is succeeding in creating this new possibility. Working with over 50 Latino women in the East Bay area of San Francisco, they have created three successful, worker-owned home cleaning business cooperatives that have changed lives and created hope.

Seventh Generation has been challenged to find ways to reach out to the low-income community. WAGES has provided us with the opportunity to provide education and to ensure these women benefit from using safer and healthier products in the work they do every day.

While our partnership is in it’s infancy, it’s one that fills me with hope and possibility. Check them out. And if you live where they’ve got a coop and need some healthy cleaning help, give them a call!

I caught this this morning during my aforementioned day-launching semi-comatose perusal of the New York Times. It’s a great editorial that says much of what I said the other day about global heating and Unnerved Experts and befuddled polar bears and a world that’s melting faster than a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Super Serious Climate Crunch on a Hummer dashboard in August except, you know… better.

I’d never really considered buying a Porsche, but check out the point of view ofWendelin Wiedeking, who is Porsche’s CEO not to mention a potato farmer and a shoemaker! Here’s an excerpt from a Financial Times interview published a few days ago:

“We should not always look at getting the maximum return but we must look at people and make sure they are taking part. When you see companies like Mannesmann that were broken up and sold again and then broken up and sold again then that causes me anguish,” he says in an interview at Porsche’s headquarters on the outskirts of Stuttgart.His evident fondness for his workers is reflected in other aspects of his business philosophy. “Our business model is only financed by customers. So we have to pay a lot of attention to our customers. When the customer is happy then the worker is happy too and so are the suppliers. Then there should be enough money left for the shareholder. But that is the order of importance,” he says.

All of this is part of Mr Wiedeking’s insistence that he is not a slave to the capital markets: “The question is: how can society allow capital to make all the rules? I have never understood shareholder value as it leaves so many things out. Shareholders give their money just once, whereas the employees work every day.”

So on July 11th a whole lot of 7th Geners are going to do the Dreamexperience. I am not sure what that will be, but we will have a camera crew to capture. Here is a guest blog from Daniel Shearer our ongoing Dream-blog voice…WR

Us folks at the DREAM Program office put a ton of creative love into our work. This film covers one of our efforts to clean up our environmental impact. We get inspired by people coming together for exciting fun, like building our bus and hopping on for trips. Great adventures happen with groups of excited people and that’s why one of our core values is Contagious Energy. Learn more about the rest here: Dream Program Come visit! Daniel

Not one for surveys, but when I saw this article that 44% Of UK Shoppers Would Buy Brand With Smaller Carbon Footprint, I wondered if a carbon-footprint-label would be something shoppers in the US would pay attention to and that would influence their shopping choices. Would love to think about a 7th Gen product’s footprint-label for all of our products. Would this make a difference in your shopping choices? thoughts? Thanks. WR

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