Guest Blogger

Jeffrey Hollender

Jeffrey Hollender

President and Chief Inspired Protagonist of Seventh Generation, Jeffrey is a well-respected leader in the socially and environmentally responsible communities. An entrepreneur at heart, his first business ventures were rooted in adult education. He began the not-for-profit organizations Skills Exchange of Toronto, a learning exchange that offered practical and professional development classes, and Network for Learning, New York City, an adult education and audio-publishing company; both were social and financial successes. After his tenure as president of Warner Audio Publishing, New York City, Jeffrey acquired a small mail order catalog of energy conservation products, Renew America, which eventually blossomed into Seventh Generation.

Jeffrey has led Seventh Generation from its humble beginnings to its current position as the leading and fastest-growing brand of natural products for the home, and the leading authority on issues related to making a positive difference in the health of the planet and its inhabitants through our everyday choices.

Creating a healthier home environment hit close to home for the Hollenders when son Alex was hospitalized for an asthma attack about 6 years ago. "I was so scared I chartered a plane to get to the hospital as quickly as possible," recalls Jeffrey. "A leading asthma specialist confirmed the cause was 100% environmental and the cure included mattress covers to confine dust mites, no carpeting, and non-toxic cleaners!"

Jeffrey frequently addresses social and environmental responsibility at regional, national and international venues, and is often asked by other companies to consult on sustainability. His blog, Inspired Protagonist, is a closely-followed resource and guide for spotlighting socially responsible business practices and principles on the global stage. Jeffrey is the author of several books, including What Matters Most and Naturally Clean.

He is a member and former Director of the Social Venture Network, a group of socially-conscious business executives. He co-founded and was a Director of Community Capital Bank, a New York financial institution that invests in affordable housing and community development. He was also an Advisor to The Council on Economic Priorities’ best-selling guide book, Shopping for a Better World. Hollender served as President of The Rainforest Foundation USA from 1992 to 1996, an organization created to protect the rainforest and the human rights of its indigenous peoples. He also served as a Board member and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.

Currently Hollender serves on the Board of Directors of Greenpeace USA, Healthy Child Healthy World (formerly Children’s Health Environmental Coalition), Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, and Alloy Inc., a publicly traded company.

Jeffrey Hollender and his wife, Sheila, have three children: Meika, Alexander, and Chiara. The Hollenders live in Vermont.

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Blog Posts by Jeffrey Hollender

  • Patagonia Makes it Real

    Patagonia Makes it Real

    I began this series of posts on authenticity by quoting Yvon Chouinard. So it seems only fitting that I complete the circle and end with his company, Patagonia. It’s certainly among the most authentic of any organization that seeks to operate sustainably and contribute to society. What’s my evidence? Consider the following.

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  • “Authentically Good” Is About More than “Less Bad”

    “Authentically Good” Is About More than “Less Bad”

    Recently, I came across a book that advises marketers to push past their demographic research and trends analyses, and start focusing on how best to create solutions to customers’ real-world problems.

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  • Why Transparency Leads to Authenticity

    Why Transparency Leads to Authenticity

    Any company that truly aspires to be authentic must dare to wear the see-through. It must have the courage to publicly bare, for all to see, its good, bad, and ugly impacts on society and the environment. Only then can an enterprise make a convincing case that it’s authentic—that its actions live up to its […]

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  • PepsiCo Flunks the Authenticity Test

    PepsiCo Flunks the Authenticity Test

    In many ways, authenticity is a synonym for integrity. A company that aspires to be authentically good says what it’s going to do and then does it. And when it stumbles along the way (stumbling is inevitable, as I well know), it doesn’t try to greenwash or explain away its mistakes—it exposes its setbacks and […]

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  • Get Real

    Get Real

    Has authenticity become just another artifact of our shiny, pre-fab world, where nearly everything we encounter is created for consumption? Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard certainly thinks so. In his compelling book, Let My People Go Surfing , Chouinard recalls seeing someone wearing a sweatshirt with the word “authentic” emblazoned across the chest.

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