A list of books by Jeffrey Hollender, featuring reviews from thought-leaders in the space of corporate sustainability. Plus, a hand-picked list of books that have inspired, challenged and taught Jeffrey through his years.

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Books by Jeffrey Hollender

Planet Home

Jeffrey Hollender’s newest book, PLANET HOME: Conscious Choices for Cleaning and Greening the World You Care About Most, takes the reader through his/her world nook by nook, covering the non-toxic way to care for absolutely everything in the home with information that is imparted with quick tips, lists, sidebars, and illustrations. The book is co-authored with Alexandra Zissu, author of The Conscious Kitchen.
PLANET HOME addresses the reader’s world nook by nook with quick tips, useful lists, dog-earable sidebars, and helpful illustrations. Hollender goes from the tiniest corner in your closet to your kitchen and kids’ rooms, out to the backyard, and then into the community. From which paper towel to buy to what to make for dinner, from how to choose an insurance company to approaching and involving new neighbors, PLANET HOME offers a practical way to care for absolutely everything in and surrounding the home. With each everyday topic—even something as mundane as cleaning a toilet—Hollender tackles the deeper, concealed issues about our health, our environment, and our commitment to a better world.

Part encyclopedia, part self-help book, and part inspiration from one of our most experienced guides to healthy living, PLANET HOME is the definitive reference for reinventing domestic life.

Lynnda Pollio - Chief Consciousness Officer, Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve

“I’m reading your book and I love it! It’s exactly what is needed out there. There are so many times I’ve questioned what’s better, local or organic…and why? And, how can I move into more conscious home products. I’m really good about not putting chemicals on or in my body, (good but not perfect), but I still struggle with what really matters with the home products I use….what does it really matter? This is a great bible of info and guidance. One of those books I’ll go to over and over again when I have yet another question.”

The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win

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.

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.

James Gustave Speth, author of The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability

“My hat is off to Jeffrey Hollender and Bill Breen for their daring new book, The Responsibility Revolution. Drawing on their personal experiences in building the highly successful company, Seventh Generation, and a wealth of other material, they show with force and eloquence what’s required for corporations to transcend the failed promise of “corporate social responsibility” and give real leadership in building a new economy where people and planet flourish. No more hype and platitudes, The Responsibility Revolution is the real item – a Baedeker for businesses that want to be part of a future that works.”

Ben Cohen, Co-Founder, Ben & Jerry’s

“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.”

Gary Hirshberg, President and CEO, Stonyfield Farm, Inc.

“Our late 20th century economic spending spree and the myths of our planet’s infinite resilience have collapsed. We used money we didn’t have, to buy stuff we didn’t need. Jeffrey Hollender’s and Bill Breen’s Responsibility Revolution is a welcome, hopeful and timely road map for truly sustainable 21st century commerce in which people and the planet actually count, and profits are the means but not the ends. Cynics beware – their optimistic analysis derives from real evidence that we may in fact be getting commerce right. Their guidance is visionary and their vision gives great guidance. This is a must-read 21st century primer for investors, entrepreneurs, consumers and policy-makers alike.”

Horst, Founder of Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients

“Jeffrey Hollander is a true master of the arts in unifying business with ecology. A rarity indeed, he is one who practices what he teaches.”

Walter Robb, President and Chief Operating Officer, Whole Foods Market

“Points towards true north for our evolution to the next revolution in business.”

Tim Brown, President, IDEO

“Building a sustainable enterprise requires the artful balance of making tough choices and having big ideas. In The Responsibility Revolution, Jeffrey Hollender and Bill Breen show us how companies like Seventh Generation, Patagonia and Nike have navigated that challenge while remaining true to their purpose and values. They throw down the gauntlet to all of us to create better corporations that also create a better world.”

Ray C. Anderson, Founder and Chairman, Interface, Inc.

“Jeffrey Hollander and Bill Breen have collaborated to produce a remarkably detailed roadmap for businesses that are searching sincerely for the path to good reputation, high purpose, and deep respect. Read this book for new clarity about the power of all three qualities, and the path to authentic realization thereof.”

Ralph Nader

“Full of dynamic, evolving portraits of companies generating the next wave of respect for others and their environments while making profits. This is an optimistic, realistic, futuristic and galvanizing book of clearer visions and higher frontiers. Reading it reminds me of Alfred North Whitehead’s observation that a great society is one in which its businesses think greatly of their functions. Hollender and Breen are raising the expectation levels of people (the readers) so that corporate leaders find there is no way back without losses.”

In Our Every Deliberation: An Introduction to Seventh Generation

You can’t grow your business without growing everyone in your business community. All real possibility and potential begins in our own hearts and minds. Our ability to create real and lasting value, attract and retain the best talent, provide innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, and build successful business to benefit all stakeholders – starts and ends with the quality of the culture and workplace experience we create for our employees.

Our ability to use the power and potential of business to transform the world into a sustainable, just, and equitable place for all its inhabitants starts with our own consciousness of the role we are willing to play. This is a process that is not for the faint of heart.

Our journey at Seventh Generation is driven by the attempt to answer a question that business is not well-equipped to answer: “What does the world need most that we are uniquely able to provide?”

Naturally Clean: The Seventh Generation Guide to Safe & Healthy, Non-Toxic Cleaning

Did you know that your favorite cleaner could be making you sick? Compelling evidence now links the chemicals in household products to a whole range of conditions including cancer, asthma, allergies, multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome, hormonal disruption, and reproductive and developmental disorders. 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. A room-by-room guide provides tips for keeping your home healthier.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President, Waterkeeper Alliance

“The Greek root of the word “ecology” means “house.” Environmental issues, therefore, are essentially about how we care for our home, or the commons – the publicly owned resources, such as air, water, wildlife and fisheries – that cannot be reduced to private property. Political activism is the best way for concerned citizens to make a difference, but it’s also important for each of us to practice an environmental ethic in our everyday lives. Naturally Clean is an excellent guide to how we can ensure a safer home for ourselves and our families. I highly recommend this book as an outstanding collection of information for reducing our use of toxic products and protecting our nation’s water supply.”

Nell Newman, President, Newman’s Own Organics

“From the esteemed experts in the field comes the final word on keeping your home clean without jeopardizing your health. Naturally Clean by Jefferey Hollender, Geoff Davis, Meika Hollender and Reed Davis covers the history of cleaning products, their effects on humankind, and substitutes for dangerous products in a clear and readable book that would be a worthy addition to anyone’s library.”

Samantha Ettus, syndicated columnist and creator of The Experts’ Guide book series

“Hollender is as important to a healthy home as Trump is to great real estate or Emeril is to spicy food. With his non-alarmist approach, Hollender uses his expertise to deliver an absolute must-read for anyone who cares about creating a healthy household.”

Devra Lee Davis, Ph.D.,M.P.H., Director, Center for Environmental Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Graduate School of Public Health

“With Naturally Clean, Hollender breaks the mold, showing us all that making money and doing good are not polar opposites. If you want to keep your family and community healthier, your bank balance higher, and your medical bills lower, then read this book!”

Maria Rodale, Vice Chairman of the Board, Rodale,

“Redefining what a clean, safe and healthy home really is, Naturally Clean is eye-opening and essential to anyone who cares about their own and their family’s health.”

What Matters Most: How a Small Group of Pioneers Is Teaching Social Responsibility to Big Business, and Why Big Business Is Listening

Under what conditions can a business hope to deliver consistent financial results, inspire employees, protect the environment, and make the world a better place? The question gets to the heart of a set of fundamental questions: What is the purpose of a business? In what ways does a business create value, and whom does it really serve? Can a business promote social causes and yet remain robust, competitive, and profitable?

Jeffrey Hollender has run Seventh Generation, the world leader in creating environmentally friendly, nontoxic household and personal care products for more than 20 years. That the company’s success continued through the 90′s bubble attests to an unwavering set of principles and behavioral guidelines based on the premise that social responsibility is a viable, vital, and sustainable business strategy.

Outlining seven specific principles of corporate responsibility, What Matters Most shows you how to assess your company’s performance, address rising consumer expectations, honestly communicate your game plan, and embark on a path of long-term growth. For general readers, What Matters Most is bound to fuel the debate over the role of business in society and the limits to which it can drive positive change.

Harvard Business School

“If you want your business to thrive, you’d better start paying attention to its values. Jeffrey Hollender, CEO of Seventh Generation, a brand of environmentally safe household products, and Stephen Fenichell, a professional writer, see harbingers for change in the way some companies do business. By sharing mistakes, encouragement, and even regrets, the authors document stories of businesses that have been at the forefront of developments in corporate social responsibility. Well-written and researched.”

The Financial Times

“Given (Lee) Scott’s current drive to improve Wal-Mart’s public image, perhaps it’s not so surprising to also find What Matters Most, by fellow chief executive Jeffrey Hollender stacked up on his desk. Hollender’s Vermont-based Seventh Generation household products company has made a business out of its commitment to corporate social responsibility.”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Hollender is not just an environmentalist. The cause he espouses in this well-written treatise is corporate social responsibility, the idea that companies, rather than focusing solely on profits, should take responsibility for what they do to and for people—employees, other businesses, communities, other nations and other cultures.”

Business Ethics Magazine

“The message is that much of what we think about responsible business is wrong. We think it’s a nice thing to do that costs incremental money, and that’s dead wrong. It’s no longer a question of whether we want to do this. The question is, what is the impact of not doing it?”

Anita Roddick, CEO, The Body Shop

“Jeffrey Hollender not only describes the shift going on in society making responsible corporate behavior an imperative, but he explains why it is that consumers, employees and non-profits play a critical role in keeping corporations ‘honest.’ This book is a must read, for the businessperson as well as the consumer.”

Peter Bahouth, former Executive Director, Greenpeace

“Jeffrey Hollender represents the next wave of environmental leaders—people who produce visible examples of how we need to do things and show artistry in pointing the way to better design.”

Ben Cohen, founder, Ben and Jerry’s

“Jeffrey Hollender has been a pioneer in the world of environmentally proactive business for over 15 years. He has shown that doing the right thing does pay off both in terms of building a brand that generates great customer loyalty and a business that has consistently generated superior growth.”

Horst Rechelbacher, CEO and founder, Aveda

“This is the century where we must listen and follow to the new proven success stories aligned with the democratic vision to create global harmony. Jeffrey Hollender is a pioneer whose methodology needs to be put into practice.”

Nell Newman - Co-founder and President, Newman’s Own Organics

“In a readable and optimistic manner, Jeffrey Hollender defines the need for both small businesses and large corporations to practice social responsibility. Then, he takes the next step in offering practical ways to reach this goal.”

Tensie Whelan - Executive Director, Rain Forest Alliance

“Hollender and Fenichell persuasively demonstrate that it is not only possible to run a profitable and socially responsible business, but that it is vitally necessary for the future of our planet.”

How to Make the World a Better Place: 116 Ways You Can Make a Difference

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.

Jeffrey Hollender’s Must Reads

These books have inspired me, challenged me and taught me – I hope you find them as enjoyable as I have. The list includes the books I’ve read over the past few years that have most profoundly shaped my frame of reference on the world, the challenges we face and where the most promising opportunities lie.

The Inspired Protagonist’s Reading List:

  • Presence, by Peter M. Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty S. Flowers
  • The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics by Riane Eisler
  • America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy by Gar Alperovitz
  • Slower by Design, Not Disaster: Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design, Not Disaster: Advances in Ecological Economics by Peter A Victor;
  • The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing From Crisis to Sustainability, by James Gustave Speth
  • The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker by Steven Greenhouse
  • Capitalism as if the World Matters by Jonathan Porritt
  • Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by Muhammad Yunus
  • The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • The Support Economy: Why Corporations Are Failing Individuals And The Next Episode Of Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff and James Maxmin
  • Revolutionary Wealth: How It Will Be Created and How It Will Change Our Lives by Alvin and Heidi Toffler
  • Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership by Joseph Jaworski and Betty S. Flowers
  • A Company of Citizens: What the World’s First Democracy Teaches by Brook Manville and Josiah Ober
  • Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus
  • Creating Wealth, Growing Local Economies with Local currencies Gwendolyn Hallsmith & Bernard Lietaer
  • Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson.
  •  Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

Classic Books on Sustainable Business and Best Practices:

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins October 2000, Back Bay Books

Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development, Herman E. Daly, Paperback, August 1997 Beacon Press Books

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies; Collins, JC and Porras, JI, Random House 1995

Cannibals With Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business, John Elkington, Capstone1997, Can capitalism be sustainable? Is it progress if a cannibal uses a fork?

The Chrysalis Economy, How Citizen CEOs and Corporations Can Fuse Values and Value Creation; John Elkington, Capstone Publishing Ltd.; London; 2001.

The Civil Corporation:  The New Economy of Corporate Citizenship; Simon Zadek, Earthscan Publications Ltd.; London and Sterling, VA; 2001.

Corporate Citizenship; Malcolm McIntosh, Deborah Leipziger, Keith Jones and Gill Coleman, Financial Times and Pittman Publishing; London; 1998.

Cradle-to-Cradle: Putting Eco-Effectiveness into Practice by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, Wisdom on designing products, companies, and systems that embrace true sustainable thinking, from two of the leading practitioners.

Value Shift: Why Companies Must Merge Social and Financial Imperatives to Achieve Superior Results, Harvard Business School Professor Lynn Sharp Paine’s groundbreaking 2002 book.

Book Reviews from my Blog

Planet Home: living green

Planet Home is a guide to going green, but this book goes a step further and challenges readers to think deeply about how our actions and purchases are part of a much larger planetary system than we may be aware of. This book was written in 2010, but it is just as, if...

The Best Advice You’ll Ever Get

Many of you know David Brooks, the reasonably conservative, Republican-ish, op-ed columnist of The New York Times. The first and only time I ever attended a TED conference, Brooks was there, speaking to promote his latest book at the time. I found him arrogant and...

How Multi-National Business Holds the US Economy Hostage

In Jeffrey Sachs’ new book, The Price of Civilization, he states in no uncertain terms that the US economy is held hostage to a narrow group of corporate interests. ''Corporate wealth translates into political power through campaign financing, corporate lobbying and...

The Startup Playbook

Fantastic new book out today that I highly recommend by entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author David S. Kidder called THE STARTUP PLAYBOOK: The Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups From Their Founding Entrepreneurs.  Kidder shares the raw experiences of...

Creating Good Work

Cheryl L. Dorsey, the president of Echoing Green, notes in her forward to Ron Schultz’s latest book Creating Good Work that it arrives at a critical time in the relatively short history of the social entrepreneurial movement. As Jeff Trexler points out in his...

Reinventing Fire: A Solution to “Peak Everything”

This blog post was originally posted on the Seventh Generation "7Gen Blog" by "Inkslinger" on February 20, 2012.  We've all heard about peak oil – when petroleum production hits its all-time high and then declines forever after. It's a fact that supply experts...

Transparency, Equity, and Justice at Seventh Generation

In my new book, The Responsibility Revolution, I look at companies that conduct internal business with transparency. Seventh Generation is one of those companies, but a recent experience here made me realize that it is always easier to stand at the doorstep of someone...

America Beyond Capitalism

I was giddy with hope back in November 2008 when Barack Obama won the presidential election. Like many, I believed that we stood at the edge of potentially enormous positive change, an opportunity that surely arises only once in a generation. Today, a year later, I am...

In Our Every Deliberation

Sometimes you think you have something important to say, and before you know whether you can convince anyone in the publishing community that it's of value, you decide that you're going to go ahead and write it anyway. That's how I felt two years ago when I sat down...

Will Radical Transparency Save the Earth?

Joel Makower and Daniel Goleman's debate in Joel's recent column on the likely effect of how "unfettered information about the environmental impacts of our world (will) smoke out the bad guys and help the good guys win," is a wonderful and critically important...

Think You’re Good? Think Again

I recently finished reading a remarkable book by Peter Singer, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty. It makes an unusually tough-minded assertion: I am immoral. I already know that in a world where so few have so much and so many have so little,...

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