Jeffrey Hollender

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Jeffrey Hollender
JH headshot 2014 2.jpg
Jeffrey Hollender in 2014
Born (1954-11-08) November 8, 1954 (age 66)
Alma materHampshire College
OccupationFounder & CEO of Sustain Natural
Co-Founder of American Sustainable Business Council
Known forCo-Founder & CEO of Seventh Generation Inc.
Board member ofGreenpeace, Kimberly-Clark

Jeffrey Hollender (born 1954 in New York City) is an American entrepreneur, author and activist.


Hollender grew up in New York City attending The Town School, The Allen-Stevenson School, Riverdale Country Day School, Putney School, and Santa Barbara High School. He graduated high school from the Baldwin School. Hollender attended Hampshire College for three semesters and did not graduate.


From 1976 to 1978 Hollender founded and served as CEO of the Skills Exchange of Toronto, a not-for-profit based in Toronto, Canada. The Skills Exchange offered thousands of short term evening and weekend classes inspired by Ivan Illich’s book De-schooling Society.

From 1979 to 1987 Hollender was the president of Network for Learning and Warner Audio Publishing, a division of Warner Communications. Warner Audio Publishing was the first major publisher of books on tape.

In 1988, Hollender, together with Alan Newman, acquired a small mail order catalog centered on energy conservation products known as Renew America, which eventually transformed into Seventh Generation Inc.. For twenty years, Hollender acted as President, CEO, and “Chief Inspired Protagonist” of the Vermont-based company.

In June 2009, Hollender stepped down from his role as CEO and became Executive Chairperson of Seventh Generation. Hollender was let go from Seventh Generation Inc. by the board of directors in October 2010.[1]

In 2009, Hollender co-founded the American Sustainable Business Council,[2] which describes itself as a "growing coalition of business networks committed to public policies that support a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy." It claims to be "a national partnership of 57+ business associations representing over 150,000 businesses and 300,000 entrepreneurs, managers, investors, and others. These partners support sustainable , socially responsible business practices, and strong local Main Street economies."[3]

In 2010 Jeffrey was named Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Greenpeace USA, where he has served on the board since 2005. He also has served on the board of Verite, a leading labor rights organization as well as Health Care Without Harm, and Practically Green.

In August 2014 Hollender, partnered with his daughter Meika Hollender, launched Sustain Natural, the first company to provide sustainable, fair trade and non-toxic condoms.[4] The company strives “to educate and help people connect the dots between condoms and hunger, health care, poverty, and climate change.”[5]

Hollender claims: “We will never solve the myriad of complex problems we face one at a time. Social inequity produces poverty, poverty results in hunger, hunger encourages unsustainable agricultural practices that result in global climate change. Sustain is about recognizing connections, and taking on the system not the individual problems.”[6]


Hollender has written six books which all cover topics of social & corporate responsibility, sustainable practices and activism. These include:

  • How to Make the World a Better Place (1985) coauthored by Linda Catling[7]
  • Naturally Clean (2006) coauthored by Geoff Davis and Meika Hollender[8]
  • In Our Every Deliberation: An Introduction to Seventh Generation (2006)[9]
  • What Matters Most (2006)[10]
  • The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win (2010) coauthored by Bill Breen[11]
  • Planet Home (2010) coauthored by Alexandra Zissu[12]

What Matters Most (2006), a book that shows business leaders how to assess their own company's performance, adopt a socially responsible approach to doing business, and embark on a path of long-term growth, is particularly impactful:

"Jeffrey Hollender is a pioneer whose methodology needs to be put into practice." -- Horst Rechelbacher, CEO and founder of Aveda

"There is no greater template for social responsibility for the new millennium than Jeffery Hollender's book." -- Ed Begley, Jr.

The Responsibility Revolution also received praise for the way it reveals the smartest ways for companies to build a better future-and hold themselves accountable for the results:

"Jeffrey Hollender and Bill Breen give us the inside scoop on how truly responsible companies out-think and out-perform their conventional-minded competitors. Part manual and part manifesto, The Responsibility Revolution delivers a truckload of examples for growing a company that benefits society as well as shareholders. I only wish we had The Responsibility Revolution’s real-world lessons when we launched Ben & Jerry’s." -- Ben Cohen, co-founder, Ben & Jerry's

"Hollender, chairman of clean household company Seventh Generation, shares his own company's process of redefining its mission and values, and makes an unimpeachable argument for how sustainable business practices protect both the environment and employees." -- Publishers Weekly

Hollender has been published in academic journals as well. His most recent work on net positive, sustainable business was in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in April 2015.[13]


  • 2004 Terry Ehrich Award[14]
  • Fast Company Fast 50[15]
  • Winning Workplaces' Best Bosses Award 2006 (sponsored by FORTUNE)[16]
  • 2012 NYU Stern's Citi Leadership & Ethics Program Distinguished Fellow [17]


  1. ^ Sacks, Danielle (2010-11-02). "Inside Seventh Generation's Firing of Founder Jeffrey Hollender". Fast Company. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  2. ^ "Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council, becomes its Chair of the Business Leadership Council – Press Releases on". Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  3. ^ "About Us | American Sustainable Business Council". Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  4. ^ Ango, Stephan; Hollender, Jeffrey (2019-07-10). "Ep. 88 Taking Responsibility with Jeffrey Hollender". Well Made (Podcast). Lumi. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  5. ^ "Why Sustain? | Sustain". Archived from the original on 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  6. ^ "Why Sustain? | Sustain". Archived from the original on 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  7. ^ Catling, Linda; Hollender, Jeffrey (1995-04-17). How to Make the World a Better Place: 116 Ways You Can Make a Difference (Rev Sub ed.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393312911.
  8. ^ Hollender, Jeffrey; Davis, Geoff; Hollender, Meika (2006-02-01). Naturally Clean: The Seventh Generation Guide to Safe & Healthy, Non-Toxic Cleaning (3rd Printing ed.). Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers. ISBN 9780865715486.
  9. ^ Hollender, Jeffrey (2009-08-03). In Our Every Deliberation: An Introduction to Seventh Generation. Burlington, Vt.: BookSurge Publishing. ISBN 9781439233832.
  10. ^ Hollender, Jeffrey (2006-01-03). What Matters Most: How a Small Group of Pioneers Is Teaching Social Responsibility to Big Business, and Why Big Business Is Listening. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 9780465030866.
  11. ^ Hollender, Jeffrey; Breen, Bill; Senge, Peter (2010-03-15). The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win (1 ed.). San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 9780470558423.
  12. ^ Hollender, Jeffrey; Zissu, Alexandra (2010-12-28). Planet Home: Conscious Choices for Cleaning and Greening the World You Care About Most. New York: Potter Style. ISBN 9780307716644.
  13. ^ "Net Positive: The Future of Sustainable Business (SSIR)". Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  14. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". 2011-07-03. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-12. Cite uses generic title (help)
  15. ^ "Making Constant Improvements". Fast Company. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  16. ^ "Best Bosses Award". Winning Workplaces. Archived from the original on 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  17. ^ "NYU Stern | Jeffrey Hollender as NYU Stern's 9th Distinguished Citi Fellow". 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2012-12-12.

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