This is from the website 11thhouraction.com, submitted by Richard on August 30, 2007 – 2:19pm, which promotes environmental action. The 11th Hour is a film produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, Leila Conners Peterson and Nadia Conners and documents the adverse effects of climate change through global warming while offering hope and ways to effect solutions as well as inspiring others to take action.
Over fifty years ago the Shaklee Corporation was founded on the principle “Living in Harmony with Nature” by Dr. Shaklee; a philosophy he instilled and which still thrives as his legacy. It seemed only fitting that this leader in green business should be asked for an interview.
Roger Barnett, Chairman and CEO, Shaklee Corporation
Mr. Barnett is the Chairman and CEO of Shaklee Corporation, one of the leading providers of premium quality, natural, environmentally friendly nutrition, personal care, and household products. Founded in 1956, Shaklee is the number one natural nutrition company in the US, with over 750,000 members and distributors in the US, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, and Canada.
Mr. Barnett began his career at the investment banking firm Lazard Freres & Co. He then organized an investment group to acquire control of Arcade, Inc., a fragrance sampling company, and Mr. Barnett became its President and Chief Executive Officer. During his six-year tenure, Arcade was transformed into the largest sampling company in the world, expanding from a solely US operation into a global business, multiplying by tenfold the number of products, and entering new industries that significantly increased the total size of the company’s served market. He was also the founder, Chairman and CEO of Beauty.com, which continues to be one of the leading internet retailers in the prestige cosmetic industry. In addition, Mr. Barnett has served as the Managing Partner of Activated Holdings LLC, an investment vehicle for a private family holding company, controlling over $2 billion in assets.
Mr. Barnett received his undergraduate degree from Yale College, his law degree from Yale Law School, and his MBA from Harvard Business School. Mr. Barnett has been selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum (Davos) and is a member of their private investment community. He has also been selected as a Young Leader Forum Fellow by the National Committee on US-China Relations and is a member of the Young President’s Organization. Mr. Barnett is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Opera Association and the De Young Museum, and is a member of the Health Advisory Council of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.
11th Hour Action: According to a 2007 Yale survey, 83% of Americans feel that global warming is a serious problem. What do you think businesses can do to help solve global warming?
Roger: Businesses can do a lot to help solve global warming. But only if they choose to do so. Businesses can make an impact through the products they sell, through the example they set, and through the people they can influence. At Shaklee, we feel it is our responsibility to make a difference in caring for our planet using all three approaches.
Our products, including the first biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning line, not only avoid putting toxic chemicals into people’s homes and the water supply, but they also are superconcentrated, preventing more than 5,800 bottles of other brands’ packaging waste from going to landfills. Further, the superconcentrated formula means that we have less weight to ship which reduces carbon emissions. And they work just as well as the chemical cleaners.
Secondly, we believe we should set an example to show that companies can operate their businesses without leaving a footprint on the earth. And so in 2000, we became the first company in the world to be certified Climate Neutral and offset all of our carbon emissions.
And finally, we believe we can help harness the power of education and grassroots, personal communication to influence others. We have over 750,000 members and distributors who have joined our company because of our philosophy of Living in Harmony with Nature. And the good news is they are not shy about sharing their love for the planet. In the last year alone, these wonderful people planted more than 590,000 trees in North America and helped eliminate over 18 Million pounds of greenhouse gases and 7.9 Million pounds of packaging waste through their personal efforts.
We have always sought to lead by example, and we continue to encourage our corporate peers to follow suit. Today, more and more companies are beginning to respond. In fact, I believe we are at the beginning of a tipping point where consumers are demanding products and action by companies that factor in the health of the planet. And that is good news, because business is now forced to respond.
We just want to assure everyone that you can do good and well at the same time. We’ve got 50 plus years to prove it.
11th Hour Action: And yet critics say that the “triple bottom line” and “conscientious capitalism” are mere rhetoric, yet Shaklee makes doing the right thing profitable. Exactly how has Shaklee successfully bridged the gap between public sector and private sector goals?
Roger: What attracted me most to Shaklee was that our company is the perfect blend of using private sector techniques to accomplish public sector goals and make a healthy profit along the way. We have the same objectives as the World Bank – to provide health and income opportunities while caring for the dignity of the people involved and the sustainability of our planet.
At Shaklee, we reward people for sharing our healthy, earth-friendly products with others. We give them incentive to do good. And then we reward them even more for helping others to do the same. So that the more successful others become, the more successful all of us become. As individuals. As a business. As a planet.
As of today, we’ve paid out over $3 billion in commissions. But not one penny has been paid out to someone who hasn’t made some other person and the planet healthier first.
We believe this is a revolutionary business and social model, because it uses financial incentives to reward people to engage in helping make people and our planet healthier. And because of the power of our business model, we can attract millions of people to be part of our mission of doing well by doing good. This mass mobilization is one demonstration of how businesses can solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, including global warming.
11th Hour Action: Shaklee has several unique partnerships with NGO’s. How can companies work together with other organizations to reach common environmental goals?
Roger: Both businesses and non-governmental organizations bring a unique and complimentary perspective to the challenges of global warming. So when we come together, we can get so much more done than any of us alone.
As a company, we’ve grown through our partnerships with NGOs. We’ve learned best practices and we’ve gained the wisdom of advisors who make sure we’re taking the right steps to meet our environmental goals.
For example, we recently partnered with 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai, who is serving as our global ambassador. Together, we’ve planted over 590,000 trees in North America, and we soon hope to reach 1,000,000 through our “A Million Trees. A Million Dreams™” campaign. We’ve also formed a partnership with Millennium Promise, an organization established by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, and have become the first company to offset our carbon emissions by providing sustainable energy to electrify villages in Africa.
Through the combined efforts of our partnerships, we can make much more of an impact. And along the way, we make lifelong friends who share our commitment to making people and the planet healthier.
11th Hour Action: How do you make your concern for the environment part of your company values and a lasting part of your company culture?
Roger: In our case, our company was started by a visionary, Dr. Shaklee, who founded the company on the ideal of living in harmony with nature. Environmental stewardship has been a part of our culture for over 50 years, long before it was even a concept for other companies. In fact, our award-winning world headquarters in Pleasanton, CA was one of the first in the world to be built as a model of green, energy-conscious building.
So naturally, we attract employees, members, and distributors who embody those values. They are the ones who keep the vision alive and moving forward. They are the ones planting trees all over America. They are the ones living it every day.
We’re not talking about a weekend project here and there. Or a committee on green initiatives. It has to be a normal, expected part of every decision you make, everything you do as a company.
11th Hour Action: More and more, consumers want to align themselves with companies that are leaders on the environment. What makes Shaklee a leader?
Roger: I think we are a leader among companies and the environment because we have developed breakthrough products and programs for 50 years. Back in the sixties, when green was just a color and biodegradable was barely a word, Shaklee created Basic H, one of the first nontoxic, biodegradable cleaners. It was used onboard Jacques Cousteau’s research vessels in the eighties, and was one of the first official Earth Day products in 1990.
We’ve sponsored four arctic expeditions by renowned polar explorer Will Steger to study the effects of global warming beginning back in 1986. In 2000, we were the first company to be certified Climate Neutral to fully offset our carbon emissions so as to leave no footprint on our planet. Then we asked ourselves, can we do better than just offset our carbon emissions? Could we turn our offset into something positive in and of itself? That led us to partner with the Millennium Development villages in Africa, set up as part of a broad United Nations effort to vastly improve the standard of living around the world as measured by a broad set of important criteria. Now our offsets are used to create solar power kiosks bringing electricity to the Siaya District in western Kenya for the first time and ensuring that as they entered into the economy, they would do so in a carbon neutral way. Last year, we were designated an EPA Climate Leader. And we continue to build impactful and lasting partnerships with other organizations making a difference.
We’ve done all of this while making healthier products that truly change people’s lives. That’s what makes us a leader. We are always excited to keep pushing the envelope about what a business can do to be a positive force for good. While we are not the largest company, we like to be the most innovative in this field and show that it is a good thing to lead on issues in the environment. We have always felt that simply doing the right thing would make us a successful company because we always felt that is what people would want to support. And we have made a commitment that we will always be at the forefront of ideas and change in helping take care of the planet. Because it is part of our founding legacy and because it is simply the right thing to do for our children.
11th Hour Action: More people want to do something. What can businesses do to help consumers take action?
Roger: We can offer action steps for people on many levels.
First, do something in your life that helps offset your carbon footprint. Start. Now. Today, there are ways to be green without sacrifice. Try our cleaners. They work better and use thousands of bottles less packaging than any brand on the market. Or try to use one less napkin, replace your incandescent light bulbs, or try to eliminate disposable water bottle usage by purchasing a water filtration system. We can offer people choices that allow them to make their voices heard with their dollars. The more earth-friendly products that we make available, the easier we make it for people to make conscious choices about things that affect the planet. This can have a huge cumulative effect.
Second, we can offer people a way to make a living that incorporates environmental responsibility as part of their daily effort to earn a living. We at Shaklee feel fortunate to be able to offer people a green income opportunity. This is harder to come by in many businesses, but they are out there. We would welcome you to join us in our efforts.
Third, we can work together to make the issues impossible to ignore. That’s why I’m grateful to Leila, Nadia, and Leo for producing such an amazing film that not only raises issues, but promotes action. And I’m thrilled that they’ve asked Shaklee to be a part of it.
I hope this inspired you as much as it did me. There are things we can do to take action for our children’s future well-being. We can make a difference and help those around us. Use green products, change light bulbs, turn off lights when leaving a room, plant some trees, educate ourselves, families and others. The more we work together to come up with solutions and put them into practice, the better and healthier life and the planet will be. Thank you for checking this post out, you can find out more within this website on how to live in harmony with nature and good health.
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Tagged with: 11th hour • biodegradable cleaners • climate neutral • environmentally friendly products • global warming • green business opportunities • Natural Cleaners • Roger Barnett • Shaklee • sustainable business
Filed under: Shaklee Achievements
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