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Jeffrey Hollender

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Jeffrey Hollender
Jeffrey Hollender in 2014
Born (1954-11-08) November 8, 1954 (age 69)
Alma materHampshire College
Occupation(s)Business executive
Known forFounding Seventh Generation Inc.
Board member ofGreenpeace, Kimberly-Clark

Jeffrey Hollender (born 1954) is an American entrepreneur, author, and environmental activist who co-founded Seventh Generation Inc.

Early life and education[edit]

Hollender was born in 1954 in New York City into an affluent family.[1] His father, Alfred, was a businessman and advertising executive, and his mother, Lucille, was a former actress from a wealthy Chicago suburb.[1]

At the age of 17, Hollender left home for Santa Barbara, California, and attended the Santa Barbara High School, briefly living in his car and protesting the Vietnam War.[1] Earlier, in New York and Vermont he attended three other high schools, the Putney School, Riverdale Country Day School, and The Baldwin School.[2][3][4] Later, he attended Hampshire College for a year and a half, until 1974.[1] However, he left college after a year to move to London, where he explored psychoanalysis under the Philadelphia Association.[1]


In 1976, Hollender established the Skills Exchange in Toronto, a nonprofit adult education venture.[1][5] Later he moved back to New York, where he founded the Network for Learning, which he eventually sold in 1985.[1][5] After selling the Network for Learning to Warner Publishing, a division of Warner Communications (now known as Time Warner), in 1985, Hollender was named president of the company, which was then renamed Warner Audio Publishing.[6] Later, Hollender shifted his focus towards environmental and social activism.[1]

In 1987, Hollender partnered with Alan Newman to purchase a mail order catalog business that focused on selling environmentally friendly products.[4] A year later, this business became part of Seventh Generation Inc. which he also co-founded with Alan Newman, focusing on producing environmentally friendly products.[1][7] Despite initial challenges and a split with Newman, Hollender's involvement in the environmental movements of the time helped establish his reputation.[1] His commitment to the cause deepened following the suicide of his brother Peter in 2000, who had played a major role in the company.[1]

In 2009, Hollender co-founded the American Sustainable Business Council.[4] He also co-founded and was a director of Community Capital Bank, a New York-based financial institution focusing on investments in affordable housing and community development.[5] Later, in the same year, Hollender stepped down as CEO of Seventh Generation and was succeeded by Chuck Maniscalco, a former PepsiCo executive.[1] Maniscalco aimed to substantially increase company revenues but resigned after just over a year due to disagreements over the pace of expansion.[1] In September 2010, Hollender was placed on leave and later split from the company under disputed circumstances.[1][8][9] In 2016, after Unilever acquired Seventh Generation for $600 million, Hollender was asked to rejoin the company's board of directors, an opportunity he gratefully accepted.[4]

In 2013, Jeffrey Hollender, his daughter Meika, and wife Sheila Hollender co-founded Sustain Natural, a company that focused on producing sustainable, fair trade, and non-toxic condoms in the sexual wellness industry.[10][11] Sustain Natural was acquired by Grove Collaborative in 2019 for an undisclosed sum.[12]

Hollender has continued to advocate for corporate responsibility, social equity, and addressing climate and population issues.[4] He currently teaches in the Business & Society program at New York University's Stern Business School, where his courses focus on guiding students in creating socially responsible businesses.[4] He is also "An Executive in Residence", at Stern where he mentors and coaches business school students.[4] He also serves on the board of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.[4] Previously, Hollender served as the president of the Rainforest Foundation US as well as the Board Chair at Greenpeace US.[5]


Hollender has written six books on corporate responsibility and sustainable practices. Hollender's writing has been published in academic journals such as the Stanford Social Innovation Review.[13]

  • Hollender, Jeffrey; Catling, Linda (1985). How to Make the World a Better Place[14]
  • Hollender, Jeffrey; Davis, Geoff; Hollender, Meika (2006). Naturally Clean[15]
  • Hollender, Jeffrey (2006). In Our Every Deliberation: An Introduction to Seventh Generation
  • Hollender, Jeffrey (2006). What Matters Most
  • Hollender, Jeffrey; Breen, Bill (2010). The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win
  • Hollender, Jeffrey; Zissu, Alexandra (2010). Planet Home[16]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 2004: Terry Ehrich Award[17]
  • 2012: NYU Stern's Citi Leadership & Ethics Program Distinguished Fellow [18]
  • Fast Company Fast 50[19]
  • Winning Workplaces' Best Bosses Award 2006 (sponsored by FORTUNE)[20]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Holson, Laura M. (February 23, 2011). "An Environmentalist's Latest Laundry List". New York Times.
  2. ^ "Notable Alumni". The Putney School.
  3. ^ https://www.greenbiz.com/article/seventh-generation-not-coming-clean-hollenders-departure
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Cyr, Anna (September 14, 2023). "Bending a silver spoon". The Charlotte News.
  5. ^ a b c d "Seventh Generation's Jeffrey Hollender to address Champlain College graduates". Vermont Business Magazine.
  6. ^ https://www.stern.nyu.edu/experience-stern/about/departments-centers-initiatives/academic-departments/business-society-program/faculty-staff/faculty/jeffrey-hollender
  7. ^ Gelles, David (2017-02-17). "Eco-Friendly, Nontoxic and Vegan: It's a Condom". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  8. ^ https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/2011/05/05/sustainable-living-guru-s-guide-life/15904933007/
  9. ^ Sacks, Danielle (2010-11-02). "Inside Seventh Generation's Firing of Founder Jeffrey Hollender". Fast Company. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  10. ^ Gelles, David (February 17, 2017). "Eco-Friendly, Nontoxic and Vegan: It's a Condom" – via NYTimes.com.
  11. ^ https://www.fastcompany.com/3020920/from-cleaning-supplies-to-condoms-the-founder-of-seventh-generations-latest-project
  12. ^ Segran, Elizabeth (2019-08-08). "Feminist sexual wellness brand Sustain just got acquired by Grove". Fast Company. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  13. ^ "Net Positive: The Future of Sustainable Business (SSIR)". ssir.org. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "Terry Ehrich Award". Web.archive.org. 2011-07-03. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  18. ^ "NYU Stern | Jeffrey Hollender as NYU Stern's 9th Distinguished Citi Fellow". Stern.nyu.edu. 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  19. ^ "Making Constant Improvements". Fast Company. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  20. ^ "Best Bosses Award". Winning Workplaces. Archived from the original on 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2012-12-12.

External links[edit]