In 1977, inspired by Ivan Illich’s book Deschooling Society, Hollender set up a non-profit learning exchange called the Skills Exchange of Toronto, which offered classes on a wide range of issues, from the practical and professional to the political. In 1979, he returned to his native New York City where he found financial success by starting Network for Learning, another adult education program and audio publishing company, which he sold to Warner Publishing, a division of Warner Communications, in 1985. In 1989, Hollender helped to start Seventh Generation.
His book, How to Make the World a Better Place: A Guide for Doing Good, was originally published by William Morrow Co. in January of 1990, and a revised edition was published by W.W. Norton & Company in March of 1995. The book has sold over 110,000 copies.
Hollender’s third book, “What Matters Most; How a visionary group of pioneers are teaching social responsibility to big business – and why big business is listening,” was published by Basic Books in January 2004. The book has received critical acclaim from the Financial Times of London, Fast Company Magazine, the Knight-Ridder Newspaper Group and the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge Newsletter. New Society Publishers published Naturally Clean, in March of 2006. The book was written with his daughter, Meika Hollender then 18, and a freshman at New York University. In May 2009, In Our Every Deliberation; Seventh Generation: the Journey toward Corporate Consciousness was published, and The Responsibility Revolution, How the Next Generation of Business will Win, was published by Josse Bass/Wiley in March 2010. In January 2011, Random House published Hollender’s newest book, Planet Home.
Hollender 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 also served as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.
Hollender recently co-founded the American Sustainable Business Council, a progressive alternative to the Chamber of Commerce that currently has over 60,000 members and serves as the Chair of the Business Leadership Council. Currently Hollender serves on the Board of Directors of Greenpeace US; Verite, a leading international advocate of workers rights; Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility; and The Environmental Health Fund.
Hollender has worked with some of the nations largest businesses — including: Wal-Mart, Nike, Microsoft and Kimberly Clark — in their efforts to become more sustainable and responsible companies
Jeffrey frequently addresses social and environmental responsibility at regional, national and international venues. Speaking engagements have included such varied groups as the Harvard Environmental Forum, the National Press Club, Nike Apparel Group, SCJohnson, Microsoft, and Businesses for Social Responsibility.
Hollender is currently the CEO and founder of Hollender Sustainable Brands, the company he launched in 2013. Hollender Sustainable Brands developed and markets Sustain condoms, the first brand of non-toxic, certified fair trade condoms. More information about Sustain is available at sustaincondoms.com.