Grove Collaborative Co-Founder and CEO Stuart Landesberg joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the company's latest funding round and how the company plans to use the funds to continue their push to lead the market in zero waste product innovation.
ADAM SHAPIRO: I want to switch gears and talk about the business of going green. We're going to do that with Stuart Landesberg. He's Grove Collaborative Co-Founder and CEO.
Got to let you know now my sister-in-law uses your products. And she's a former prosecutor, so she knows. I'm not going to fight with her. But you're here because, one, you just successfully-- what, another $125 million fundraising round has now closed, and the valuation of the company is $1.3 billion? Is that accurate?
STUART LANDESBERG: That's right.
ADAM SHAPIRO: So I want to talk to you about some of the things you're doing because some of us, when we go to buy products, we may not want to buy a product in plastic, but we don't have a choice. Yet with your products, you're going to eliminate plastic, what is it, by 2025? And will everything come in either aluminum or glass?
STUART LANDESBERG: So this is a great place to start, and I think Grove exists because consumers are increasingly taking more control and realizing that we need to to take more control over the ingredients in our products and also the packaging of our products and our single-use-plastic addiction is insane and needs to change.
And so Grove has a goal by 2025 to get every single product we sell 100% out of plastic, and we've done that today through a combination of glass, aluminum, and paper, but I believe over time that we'll use a number of different substrates to replace plastic. But we've seen, you know, real success in concentrated formats like this one, which I am confident your sister loves, and also aluminum form factors in some of the other product lines that don't lend themselves to concentration.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Well, and your market for this is only growing. I think you point out that Gen Z and millennials-- these are the kinds of products as well as the containers they want. But how do you respond-- I know there's going to be a chorus of no need from, say, other news outlets that might cater to conservative-style reaction to this that would say the energy needed to produce the glass or the cutting down of trees to produce the paper or even to produce the aluminum, the energy use, negates the positives from eliminating the plastic. What would you say to them?
STUART LANDESBERG: It's such a challenging thing to do full-cost accounting for every single product, but our company's vision statement is that consumer products will be a positive force for human and environmental health, not just less bad but actually more good over time.
And so in order to get there, the first thing we wanted to tackle is the most challenging problem in our category, which is single-use plastic because when plastic enters the ocean, enters the ecosystem, it can take thousands of years to degrade. It can show up in microplastics. I mean, I think this has all been really well covered.
Whereas if we can use compostable materials, yes, sometimes we require a little bit more energy to create them, but we understand how to go back through the supply chain and offset the impact of carbon created at every step. We understand how to use sustainable energy. And our company's goal really is to take this category which has been responsible for a ton of waste over the last however many hundreds of years and turn it into one that is not just neutral but actually where every time-- for example, we have a line of products called Seedling, which is tree-free paper. And very counterintuitively, because of our give-back program, every time you use a sheet of paper towels, it's actually better for the world.
So I am totally attuned to the need to take into account the full cost and also really excited about what this financing will do to drive more innovation that can get us closer to true zero waste and truly beneficial product.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Stuart Landesberg is the Grove Collaborative co-founder and CEO. We wish you all the best. And for the record, I actually enjoyed using the soap at my sister-in-law's apartment. So I think you guys are onto it, and we'll be looking at your products in this household. All the best to you, sir.
STUART LANDESBERG: Thanks for having us. Take care.