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Gentle on the earth: Big on the profits

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, aptly described as “one of America’s great weird brands,” made its U.S. debut in the late 1940s, thanks to Emanuel Bronner, and has been carried on by his grandsons, David and Michael, along with their mother Trudy.

Emanuel Bronner liked to talk about “constructive capitalism,” which he de­­scribed as sharing profits with workers and going gentle on the earth.

His heirs codified this concept.

To the company’s fully paid health care insurance and a retirement plan contribution equal to 15% of salary, it added 25% annual bonuses for full-time employees. The highest salary is capped at five times the salary of the lowest-paid employee.

Result? The company has grown more than 1000% over the past 12 years, hitting more than $44 million in sales in 2011 as the top-selling organic liquid and bar soap in North America.

— Adapted from “Radical Chic,” Tom Foster, Inc.

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