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Harvard Business Review on Greening Your Business Profitably by Harvard Business Review

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Growing Green

Three Smart Paths to Developing Sustainable Products

by Gregory Unruh and Richard Ettenson

SOON AFTER ITS LAUNCH, in 1987, Clorox’s Brita water filter seized a leadership position among pitcher filtration systems, and by 2002 it controlled 70% of the market. But over the next five years, as the market contracted, Brita’s share declined. Management’s patience with the brand soon wore thin, and in May 2007 Clorox CEO Don Knauss told shareholders that Brita had two years to improve or it would be sold off. “When I got on board,” Knauss remembers, “the question was, How quickly can we sell this thing?” Then came a remarkable turn: Brita recovered its momentum within months, achieving double-digit growth and leading the brand back with ...

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