Tuesday, June 16, 2009

method's softer side

Check it, check it! Great new article from the San Francisco Business Times on some cleaning company we all lust! Hmm, who are they again? What's their name? Oh, darn. I know it'll come to me... just give me a moment or two... until then, read on!

"Method’s cleaners keep the environment tidy | by Sarah Duxbury

Method’s been green since before green became this season’s color.

The nine-year-old eco-friendly home cleaning product company blazed a shining trail across the staid and often toxic world of soaps and solvents. Method convinced industry leaders that cleansers can come in design-centric packages filled with pretty colors and nice smells that are at the same time good for you and the environment.

And the San Francisco company wants to continue to lead the sector through innovation.

To co-founder and “chief greenskeeper” Adam Lowry, allowing the green to steep through every aspect of the company goes well beyond the product level.

“I think it’s inadequate to have a green product come from a company that doesn’t operate in a sustainable way, or where it’s just one line and everything else is not green,” Lowry said.

While the packaging and soaps inside them are all green, Method is looking for other ways to go the color of envy.

At Method’s largest manufacturing facility, all water is recycled. At a distribution center in Chicago, it is piloting a fleet of electric lift trucks as opposed to the traditional propane ones.

“We still have a long way to go, but these are examples of us innovating within the supply chain,” Lowry said.

And since it must still purchase much of its energy from traditional, non-green sources, Method has created a carbon offset program with Native Energy that has Method actually paying vendors who reduce their carbon footprint, Lowry said. “That means I can walk into my vendors’ buildings and say ‘I want you to reduce your carbon footprint and I will write you a check,’” Lowry said. “We’re aligning our strategy with incentives.”

While Method works to green its supply chain, large, traditional consumer product companies try to green their products. Clorox introduced its Green Works line last year, and it has been a hit. Procter & Gamble has Tide Pure Essentials; Arm & Hammer has an eco-friendly laundry detergent, and last spring S.C. Johnson purchased Caldrea, owner of the green cleaning brands Caldrea and Mrs. Meyers, to name a few.

Lowry said the me-toos rushing into the green cleaning space have not hurt Method’s business; rather, they are taking share from toxic cleansers, and spreading the green.

The private company, which crossed the $100 million sales mark a couple of years ago, has a CEO search under way. Board member Dan Swander has acted as interim CEO since Alastair Dorward left Method in August.

“Being a green business is not the glamour you see on the front pages,” Lowry said. “It’s a blue collar job, and you have to roll up your sleeves and do the work.”


I got it! No no, wait, I lost it... darn! Don't worry, it'll come to me... my mind is like a steel trap, I promise you! Nothing gets out... but then, nothing gets in, either. Oh oh, it's it's on the tip of my tongue... wait for it, wait for it...

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