Jeffrey Hollender
Adjunct Associate Professor of Policy

Jeffrey Hollender is a leading authority on corporate responsibility, sustainability and social equity.  More than twenty years ago, he co-founded Seventh Generation and went on to build the fledgling company into a leading natural product brand known for its authenticity, transparency, and progressive business practices.  Today, as an author, speaker and activist as well as the founder of the business strategy firm, Jeffrey Hollender Partners, Jeffrey's mission is to inspire and provoke business leaders to think differently about the role they and their companies play in society.  Along the way, he's working to drive systemic change that makes it easier for businesses to become radically more sustainable, transparent and responsible.

Jeffrey's passion for changing the negative impact that industry has on the environment and society is evident in each of his six books, including 2010's The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win.   At the same time, Hollender has been helping millions of Americans make green and ethical product choices, beginning with his bestselling title, How to Make the World a Better Place, a Beginner’s Guide.  His most recent book, Planet Home: Conscious Choices for Cleaning & Greening the World You Care About Most (Clarkson Potter/Publishers; December 28, 2010)guides consumers through the dizzying array of decisions they make each day, helping them understand which choices matter most and which have hidden repercussions.

A born entrepreneur, Jeffrey’s first business ventures were in the field of education and publishing: the Skills Exchange in Toronto and Network for Learning in New York City.  In 1985, after selling Network for Learning to Warner Publishing, a division of Warner Communications (now Time Warner), he was appointed president of the renamed firm, Warner Audio Publishing.  In 1988, he acquired Renew America, a mail order catalog of green products, which eventually became Seventh Generation. His record of sustainable achievements and thought leadership is unparalleled in the business world.

Jeffrey is the Co-Chair of Greenpeace US and the co-founder and Board Chair of the American Sustainable Business Council, a coalition of business leaders committed to changing the rules of business. He serves on the Board of Health Care Without Hard and Verité, a leading workers’ rights organization.  He is He divides his time between Charlotte, VT, and New York City.

Semester Course
Fall 2012 UPADM-GP.410.001 Sustaining Social Change in the New Economy

This course explores the evolving new global economy, one in which the increasing challenges generated by the unsustainable use of non-renewable resources collides with forces that will dramatically realign power and influence.

The course focuses on three central questions:

- How does our understanding of sustainability need to evolve to create a future of health and wellbeing, a future that is regenerative rather than destructive?

- What historic, legal, policy, political and dynamic factors contributed to the design of an economy so obsessively focused on short-term results that we have incentivized behavior that is dangerous and destructive for our long-term survival?

- How do we move towards a new economy driven by a sustainable understanding of wealth and happiness, equity and justice that insists on a systems based, long-term point of view? How do we build and manage organizations that personify this edict?

Download Syllabus
Date Publication/Paper

Hollender, Jeffrey, with Alexandra Zissu. 2010. Planet Home: Conscious Choices for Cleaning and Greening the World You Care About Most New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2010. Print.

FROM THE COFOUNDER OF SEVENTH GENERATION, the most trusted brand in environmentally friendly household products, comes this indispensable guide to maintaining absolutely everything in the home in a natural, nontoxic way. Jeffrey Hollender leads you through each room of the house with straightforward advice, comprehensive checklists, quick tips, and unparalleled resources while revealing the hidden repercussions of daily routines that most of us take for granted. From improving air quality in your bedroom to avoiding mildew in the bathroom, from sourcing local or organic food to safely laundering your clothes, Planet Home offers invaluable information for making conscious decisions for your family, your neighbors, and our shared planet home.

With additional information on power, garbage and recycling, air quality, and community activism, this book goes a step further to describe how any household is part of a much larger system. Planet Home offers a unique, comprehensive, educational, and easy approach to helping you and your family lead healthier lives as we collectively protect and maintain our shared resources for many years to come.

Hollender, Jeffrey and Bill Breen. 2010. The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Print.

How to create a company that not only sustains, but surpasses-that moves beyond the imperative to be "less bad" and embrace an ethos to be "all good"

From the Inspired Protagonist and Chairman of Seventh Generation, the country's leading brand of household products and a pioneering "good company," comes a one-of-a-kind book for leaders, entrepreneurs, and change agents everywhere. The Responsibility Revolution reveals the smartest ways for companies to build a better future-and hold themselves accountable for the results. Thousands of companies have pledged to act responsibly; very few have proven that they know how. This book will guide them. The Responsibility Revolution presents fresh ideas and actionable strategies to commit your company to a genuine socially and environmentally responsible business and culture, one that not only competes but wins on values.

  • Points the way for innovators and influencers to generate trust by becoming transparent, elicit people's passion and creativity, turn customers into collaborators, transform critics into allies, rewrite the rules and reinvent business
  • Shows how to build a socially and environmentally responsible yet genuinely good company and an authentic brand
  • Drawing on groundbreaking interviews with real-world change leaders, Hollender and Breen present lessons and insights from the "good company"' parts of big companies like IBM and eBay, trailblazers like Patagonia and Timberland, and emerging dynamos like Linden Lab and Etsy

The Responsibility Revolution equips people with the tactics, models, and mind-sets they need to compete in a world where consumers now demand that companies contribute to the greater good.


Hollender, Jeffrey. 2009. In Our Every Deliberation: An Introduction to Seventh Generation Burlington, Vermont: Seventh Generation, 2009


Hollender, Jeffrey and Geoff Davis, with Meika Hollender and Reed Doyle. 2006. Naturally Clean: The Seventh Generation Guide to Safe & Healthy, Non-Toxic Cleaning Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New  Society Publishers, 2006. Print.

Compelling evidence links the chemicals in household products to cancer, asthma, allergies, multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome -- also known as environmental illness -- hormonal disruption, reproductive and developmental disorders, and other conditions. Yet cleaning products are exempt from the full ingredient disclosure on product labels as required for food and personal care products and enter the marketplace with little or no testing for potential health risks.

Naturally Clean explains the dangers of traditional cleaners and provides illuminating statistics that illustrate how the chemicals found in almost every home are known or likely to cause a host of serious health problems. The book's easy-to-understand introduction discusses basic household chemistry, concepts of toxicity and types of toxic exposure, and the difference between natural, organic, and synthetic chemicals.


Hollender, Jeffrey and Stephen Fenichell. 2004. 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 (a member of the Perseus Books Group), 2004.

For more than sixteen years, Jeffrey Hollender has presided over Seventh Generation, a world leader in manufacturing environmentally friendly, nontoxic household products. What Matters Most illuminates the successful practices of Seventh Generation-and many other pioneering companies around the world-to demonstrate the pragmatic aspects of a corporate strategy that hardwires social and environmental concerns into the company's culture, operating systems, and business relationships. It 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.


Hollender, Jeffrey and Linda Catling. 1995. How to make the world a better place: 116 ways you can make a difference New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1995

Think of all the problems in the world, in the city or town where you live, on your own block: pollution, violence, children who can't read, housebound elderly people, litter in the street, the homeless. If only somebody would do something about these things. . . . Why not you? Why not now?

You don't need to be a high-profile social activist to effect positive social change. How to Make the World a Better Place, in this updated and expanded edition, shows how just one person can make a difference in solving global, national, and local problems. Whether you're interested in feeding the hungry, protecting the environment, helping the homeless, or making your community a safer place to live, you'll find the means to get started in this book. Each chapter alerts you to problems that require attention, explains the issues and what has to be done about them, tells you specifically what you can do to help, and lists the addresses and phone numbers of organizations that you can contact.

The twenty-fifth anniversary of Earth Day finds us all more socially and environmentally conscious than ever before. All it takes for you to make a difference is one first step-this book gives you the advice, the encouragement, the information, and the resources you need to take it. Then, instead of simply thinking about the world's problems, you'll be solving them.