GOODCo: The Newest GOOD Company Finalists
Two new firms join our list of GOOD Company finalists this week:
First up is the San Francisco manufacturer of stylish, sustainable cleaning products. Method was founded in 2001 by Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan, who were disappointed that most of the soaps, scrubs, and detergents you could buy were neither good for the environment nor very pleasant for people to use. The private firm leveraged eco-friendly branding and carefully thought-out product design—not to mention effective cleaners, like the first triple-concentrated laundry detergent in the U.S.—to grow rapidly and compete with home care giants across a range of products. Method is unafraid to adopt social standards, was a founding B Corporation and boasts some 60 products that are cradle-to-cradle (essentially, sustainability-certified). With their success, major competitors like Clorox and Proctor & Gamble are launching green-friendly marketing campaigns. So with international expansion continuing in France and Japan and new products, like last year’s new anti-bacterial hand washes, hitting the markets, Method will have to stay nimble to remain a step ahead of its traditional competitors.
Our second GOOD Company is the firm that makes car-sharing cheap and easy. The company began providing European-style car-sharing in Cambridge, MA (natch) in 2000. Today, 560,000 members can access 8,000 vehicles in 60 cities in North America and the United Kingdom. By using the internet and mobile technology to manage the challenges of tracking its fleet and matching drivers with available rides, Zipcar was able to offer a service that was scalable, cheap and convenient for city-dwellers who only wanted a car sometimes. As a pioneer in the car-sharing space (it bought a major competitor, Flexcar, in 2007), the company deserves recognition for expanding a whole new economic sector. But the company also takes pride in its green accomplishments, estimating that each and every Zipcar takes 15 other cars off the road, and that driving shorter distances saves 219 gallons of crude oil per member. After a successful IPO earlier this year, the company will need to prove to investors that fast expansion will be backed up by profits established in key markets – and that rental car companies seeking to compete as short-term car providers can’t steal the Zipcar’s thunder.
Do Method and Zipcar meet your standards for a GOOD Company?