Sales: $10 billion, but that total includes food storage products.
Key Personnel: Fisk Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer; Mark H. Eckhardt, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Salman Amin, chief operating officer;
Major Products: Household cleaners, disinfectants and insecticides. Brands include Windex, Vanish, Drano, Caldrea and Mrs. Meyers.
New Products: Glad Autumn Collection and Citrus Blossoms Collection
Comments: Opaque, yet transparent. Privately-held SC Johnson holds its financial results close to its vest, but the company isn’t shy about sharing what’s inside its products. For the past several years, SCJ has come clean about many of the ingredients in its formulas.
In May, continuing what it calls its “leadership in ingredient transparency,” SC Johnson will disclose the presence of 368 potential skin allergens that may occur in its products. The company has already added the list of fragrance and non-fragrance skin allergens to its ingredient website, WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com, and by 2018, the website will also list skin allergens when contained in a product.
According to company executives this initiative goes beyond regulations in the European Union and the US, where there are no rules requiring allergen transparency.
“For us, transparency is a matter of principle. We’re interested in helping people make the best choices for their families,” said Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “Just like when we started listing preservatives, dyes and fragrances, we didn’t stop with the industry standard. We want to tell the whole story. This is just the next step we are taking in our journey to be more and more transparent.”
Last year, SC Johnson was the first major FMCG company to disclose 100% of fragrance ingredients in the Glade Fresh Citrus Blossoms collection, down to the component level. This differs from those companies that disclose natural fragrances or essential oils in aggregate, even though natural fragrances contain tens or even hundreds of individual components that go undisclosed. Like all fragrances, natural fragrances are made up of chemical components such as acids, aldehydes, esters, ketones and terpenes.
The new Glade Fresh Citrus Blossoms collection goes beyond other air care products with its 100% fragrance transparency. All fragrance ingredients are listed on the products and on SC Johnson’s WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com ingredient website.
“Making thoughtful ingredient choices has been an SC Johnson priority for decades,” said Johnson, “and key to this is continually challenging the status quo. By sharing the full ingredient list for this fragrance—all the way down to the component level—we’re going beyond the norm of even so-called ‘natural’ products. And, we’re also acknowledging the valuable role chemicals play. Everything from the water we drink to the air we breathe is made of chemicals, and fragrance is no different. This is just the latest step of our continuing journey to advocate for responsible and transparent chemistry.”
SC Johnson has been working with suppliers since 2008 to increase transparency of fragrance and non-fragrance ingredients alike. Here’s a rundown of what SCJ has accomplished during the past decade:
2009: Launched U.S. ingredient disclosure program, followed soon after by Canada.
2012: Published SC Johnson Fragrance Palette, the complete list of approved ingredients for SC Johnson products.
2014: Published list of ingredient restrictions for transparency about how SC Johnson makes ingredient choices.
2015: Began rolling out product-specific fragrance disclosure, sharing more than 99.9% of ingredients in most product formulas.
2016: Launched Glade Fresh Citrus Blossoms Collection with 100% fragrance transparency.
At the same time, SC Johnson shouts to the world about its other environmental efforts. In May, SC Johnson announced its manufacturing site in Bay City, MI, the facility that manufactures Ziploc brand bags, recently joined two other company-owned manufacturing sites running on 100% wind energy for electricity.
“With our third site powered entirely by wind energy, almost one third of SC Johnson’s energy usage globally now comes from renewable sources,” said Kelly M. Semrau, senior vice president, global corporate affairs, communication and sustainability, SC Johnson. “We are proud of our commitment and progress toward taking care of the environment for future generations.”
Bay City achieved this milestone by purchasing 100% of its wind energy from nearby wind farms.
With community cooperation, SC Johnson made a tall commitment to wind energy usage in 2012 when it powered-up two 415-foot wind turbines at Waxdale, the company’s largest global manufacturing facility located in Mount Pleasant, WI. The two turbines generate about 8 million kilowatt-hour of electricity each year, enough to power 770 homes a year. They eliminate about 6,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.
Since 2009 and 2016 respectively, manufacturing operations in Mijdrecht, Netherlands, and Gorzow, Poland have been running completely on wind energy. The Gorzow manufacturing plant also purchases its entire demand for wind energy. The company’s Mijdrecht site purchases approximately 50% and generates the remaining wind energy onsite.
The company made a number of environmental advances last year and exceeded aggressive goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and global manufacturing waste, including:
- 32.7% of energy use globally now from renewable sources.
- 51.7% greenhouse gas emissions reduction from SC Johnson manufacturing sites since 2000, indexed to production.
- 76% waste reduction at SC Johnson manufacturing sites since 2000, as a ratio to production.
In other news, SC Johnson operations in countries like Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, the UK and Venezuela made the Best Workplace list.
Finally, SC Johnson got the year started right by teaming up with Conservation.org to help protect as much as 10,000 acres of the Amazon rainforest.