Joel Makower has a characteristically thorough and thoughtful look at Clorox’s launch of their new "Green Works" line of cleaning products, in which he was peripherally involved (does the guy sleep?).

I’ll admit, when I read these things, I feel positive and hopeful, and then I think, hm, how will some enviro manage to spin this as a hopelessly cynical greenwashing ploy from The Man? Sometimes I can predict in advance, sometimes I can’t, but it’s inevitable. Sigh.

Anyway, here’s the uplifting conclusion:

But there’s a potentially bigger story here. Clorox — a 95-year-old, relatively stodgy company — seems to have discovered its green gene. CEO Knauss has identified sustainability as one of three core consumer trends with which he wants to align Clorox products. The combination of Green Works, Burt’s Bees, and Brita give it a toehold in that market space, a foundation on which it can build more offerings. Already, additions to the Green Works line are being planned.

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All of which has invigorated the company, says Buttimer, a thirtysomething mother of two who has become the corporate face of Green Works. "I can’t keep my calendar clear of associate marketing managers, our entry-level positioning and marketing people, asking, ‘How do I work on this project?’ Or people coming to me and announcing, ‘My parents are members of Sierra Club.’ Everyone wants to be involved."

Moreover, she adds, "What’s really exciting is that we’re building knowledge and confidence within the rest of the company that we can do the same things with a lot of our other product lines."

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Every success story is another brick in the wall.