This morning (February 9, 2011) John Replogle was named as new CEO and President of Seventh Generation, a producer of an environmentally friendly product lines. Replogle is leaving Burt’s Bees as President and CEO since he joined the company in 2006. Prior to Burt’s Bees, Replogle ran Unilever’s skin care division, where he helped launch the ‘Real Beauty’ campaign for Dove.
Forbes magazine interviewed Replogle before this morning’s announcement of his move to Clorox’s competitor, Seventh Generation. Clorox acquired Burt’s Bees in 2007. The interview offers a glimpse into the company’s approach to sustainability under his leadership. Of particular interest is his perspective on sustainability practices and the integral part they’ve played in the company’s success to date.
“We must kill the myth that being sustainable is at odds with driving profitable business forward. Burt’s Bees is a more competitive and profitable business BECAUSE we embrace sustainable practices. We take a systemic approach to design and problem solving which drives waste, in its many forms, out of our business. This is best practice.
Sustainability is no longer optional. Companies that fail to adopt such practice will perish. They will not only lose on a cost basis, they will also suffer in recruiting employees as well as attracting consumers. At the end of the day, companies have to be able to do both well, delivering a positive return for investors, and good, making the right choices for people and the planet for the long term.”
If together Replogle and Burt’s Bee’s were able to expand, entering 25 new markets and seeing double digit growth in 2010 utilizing strategic design while embracing sustainable practices and “The Greater Good” mentality, why don’t we expect more companies to do the same?