SC Johnson – Industry defining Sustainable practices

FOR SC JOHNSON, a US based, privately held family owned consumer goods company, sustainability has always been about doing the right thing. After all, not many companies become ‘hip’ after 12 decades of existence, which is when SC Johnson’s legacy of environmental leadership coincided with the ‘green trend’.

An early adopter company, they are in their 18th year of making Sustainability Reports, about the time when the term Triple Bottom Line was barely taking shape.

Being privately held enables them to focus on doing what’s right for the next generation, not just the next quarter’s earnings report.

The company has been in the cleaning business since 1886 and has evolved into one of the leading makers of household cleaning products, and products for home storage, air care and insect control like Pledge, Zip Loc, Saran wrap, Baygon etc.

With operations in 70+ countries, sales of over $8 billion and a 12,000 strong force world wide, SC Johnson has come to be known as leader in the green space. The current Chairman and CEO, is the great-great-grandson of the company’s founder.

Industry defining practices

The most recent induction into their long list of environmental performance commitments is the ‘ website, a radical transparency show-down of the full disclosure of all the ingredients that go into making their products.

Also read Inspiring Green Choices & Boosting Recycling Rates at SC Johnson

Another industry defining standard that the company has pioneered is the award winning Greenlist™ ingredient classification process to weed out the restricted ingredients. Greenlist™ has institutionalized product stewardship with a goal to raise the toxic score which is, and rightly so, tied to the employee compensation system.

Reviewed by numerous organizations like World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Society of Environmental Toxicology and Green Chemistry and also received a third party validation from the Chemistry Institute, in the US, Greenlist™ is a collaborative effort developed with inputs from UK’s Forum for the Future, and US Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), suppliers, university scientists and other organizations. Over time Greenlist™ has become a model for how companies can harness the power of their supply chains to promote sustainability.

 A dedicated team of 133 people drive the company’s sustainability efforts in the 4 key platforms: Improving Products, Reducing Resource Use, Strengthening Communities, and Protecting Families.

Leadership Programs and Partnerships

  •  In 2002, SC Johnson became the first consumer packaged goods company to join the US EPA’s Climate Leader’s initiative.
  •  It also received a Green – e certification for their production of clean energy. 
  •  SC Johnson also joined the Smart Way(sm) Transport Partnership, a voluntary and a collaborative partnership with US EPA, to further reduce their GHG emission of their freight carrier.

As a Change Agent

In addition to large projects like wind power and using bio fuels, the company has helped make an impact by using more efficient air compressors, chillers and energy efficient lighting systems.

As founding members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and World Resources Institute (WRI) and the main sponsor GHG Protocol Supply Chain standard, SC Johnson is taking aggressive steps to develop global metric standards within the supply chain. And the company’s engagement with the Base of the Pyramid Protocol has created mutually beneficial businesses in the BOP communities.

SC Johnson has been instrumental in bringing international understanding of sustainability by sharing their knowledge with their suppliers and retailers and other companies. As businesses move down the path of sustainability, SCJ is definitely redefining the climate in which business can be conducted sustainably.

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