SC Johnson: Doing Their Part to Grow Greener Products
In 2001 SC Johnson devised Greenlist™, a ground-breaking process that classifies raw materials considered for use in the company’s products according to their impact on the environment and on human health. Today the Greenlist™ process provides ratings for more than 95 percent of the raw materials that SC Johnson uses, including surfactants, solvents, propellants, insecticides and more. A computerized, global system is integrated with all aspects of the company’s product development processes. The firm’s goal was to go beyond meeting legal and regulatory requirements by increasing year-after-year the percentage of raw materials having the least impact on the environment and on human health. SC Johnson started at 12 percent in 2001, and today the company is at more than 34 percent.
Through the Greenlist™ process each raw material receives a “3” to “0” rating. An ingredient with a “3” rating is considered “Best”; with a “2,” “Better”; with a “1,” “Acceptable”; and with a “0,” used only on a limited basis when no viable alternative exists. While government regulatory requirements do not restrict some raw materials with a “0” score, over the years SC Johnson has decided to limit their use. Instead, the company has chosen to work toward replacing these “0”-rated materials with those that are more biodegradable and that have a better environmental or health profile.
As an environmental leader, SC Johnson continues to uphold the sustainability principle of transparency. In February 2007, SC Johnson decided to share its patented Greenlist™ process with other public and private organizations, including competitors, royalty-free. Because the process is highly flexible and adaptable, companies licensing Greenlist™ will be able to modify the patented process to reflect their own unique chemicals and materials. They will also gain a proven management system of establishing, evaluating and reporting performance against measurable objectives. Organizations looking to license Greenlist™ must be willing to establish measurable goals and to report on them annually.
“We’re committed to environmental leadership and to the principle of sharing our sustainability practices so other companies can adapt or adopt our learning into their operations. The true winner is the environment, which is our goal,” said Scott Johnson, vice president of global environmental and safety actions for SC Johnson.
Greenlist™ is a reflection of SC Johnson’s steadfast commitment to the environment and to the spirit of innovation. From being a pioneer in the introduction of water-based aerosols in 1955 to guiding its leadership to become the first company to remove chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from all aerosol products three years ahead of the 1978 mandate, SC Johnson has set the bar. Greenlist™ is the company’s next step toward ensuring product development decisions are made for the viability of today’s generation and for the continuation of the Earth and its future generations.