Today’s The New York Times’ “Business of Green” special
section has a fascinating article about the latest eco-marriage: Clorox
and The Sierra Club. The “green trench warfare” Method’s Adam Lowry
refers to in our Fast 50 issue (#16) has officially gone full throttle.
With Method and Seventh Generation head to head in sales clocking in at
around $100 million, respectively, Clorox’s newest posterboy is none
other than Sierra Club heavy hitter Carl Pope.
Pope has paired up with Clorox CEO Donald Knauss, to put
environmental muscle behind its new “99% natural” Green Works brand.
For Clorox, it’s the first new line they’ve launched in nearly 20
years. What’s more startling: in Sierra Club’s 116-year-history, it’s
the first time they’ve ever endorsed a product. Why, explains Pope? The
best way to convince consumers to purchase green cleaning products is
for the grandaddy of eco-activists to pair up with the grandaddy of
What’s even more head-turning is that Sierra Club will “receive an
undisclosed portion of the proceeds.” Over the past year it’s been
remarkable watching activist groups turn from rock throwers to
deal-makers. Is this part of Sierra Club’s new business friendly
strategy? Are we witnessing dollar signs in the eyes of environmental
groups–or is taking money the only way for these groups to get an
influential voice in company boardrooms? Which environmental groups are
taking it too far?