Sierra Club
Sierra Club Press Release

Immediate Release

ForestEthics: William Craven: 415.407.3426
Josh Mogerman, NRDC: 312-651-7909
Eddie Scher, Sierra Club: 415-815-7027


Top Green Products Brand Joins Market Trend Against Tar Sands

Seventh Generation will work to eliminate fuel from refineries that use Canada’s controversial Tar Sands throughout its North American logistics network. The perennially top-ranked green products company joins a market trend against Tar Sands that now includes 16 publicly confirmed actions by major US companies.

“This widening trend of leading American brands against Canada’s Tar Sands is good news for everyone who wants cleaner air and water, healthier communities and forests—and clean energy,” said Aaron Sanger of ForestEthics.  “It is bad news for those who want to expand the U.S. market for Tar Sands.”

New policies like Seventh Generation’s lead to further action by the trucking companies and fuel providers that major brands use to get their products to market.  Part of Seventh Generation’s new commitment is work with its primary transportation providers to identify fuels from Tar Sands refineries and pursue a strategy of continuous improvement toward elimination of these controversial fuels.

“From the beginning, Seventh Generation has believed that reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels is incompatible with a sustainable future.  That’s why we believe products derived from plants are better than products made from petroleum.  It’s also why we have worked hard to reduce the ton-miles our products travel from manufacturer to the store shelf.  We have cut fuel use across our logistics network in half over the last 5 years.  We believe working towards eliminating fuel from tar sands refineries is the next logical step in our journey to create a more sustainable supply chain and company,” said Chris Miller, manager of Corporate Consciousness for Seventh Generation

“What Seventh Generation is doing is a great example, along with the actions of many other companies, cities, farmers and workers, of what to do in the face of spiraling fuel prices:  Use less fuel, move toward transportation that doesn’t depend on oil and steer away from Tar Sands,” said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “More drilling and more pipelines for dirty energy are not in our national interest.”

“Tar sands crude is the dirtiest oil on Earth,” said Kate Colarulli of The Sierra Club. “The public and a growing number of companies have seen through Big Oil’s lies. Together we are drawing the line and standing firm against this dangerous and destructive oil.”

Seventh Generation is the nation’s leading brand of household and personal care products that help protect human health and the environment.  Established in 1988, the Burlington, Vermont based company remains an independent, privately-held company distributing products to natural food stores, supermarkets, mass merchants, and online retailers across the United States and Canada.

ForestEthics, which works on the Tar Sands problem through Canadian and US offices, has identified nearly 50 US refineries that already make or use synthetic oil from Tar Sands to make trucking fuel.  The purpose of pipelines such as the proposed Keystone XL is to supply US refineries with more Tar Sands.

Canada's Tar Sands is produced by one of the most energy-intensive—and greenhouse gas spewing—extraction processes in history.  The health effects of Tar Sands are already evident in Alberta where downwind and downstream communities have elevated levels of cancer.  Canada’s Globe & Mail has reported that pollution risks at refineries using Tar Sands are greater because Tar Sands material is dirtier and more corrosive.  The uniquely toxic and more intense pollution from increased US refinery processing of Tar Sands would disproportionately threaten the health of the largely poor and minority communities living near these refineries.