When it comes to SC Johnson and the environment, the company has focused on using alternative fuels, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging its customers to act responsibly.

The 120-year-old company's focus on the environment is more than a marketing campaign or a commitment to making eco-friendly products: it’s a part of the SC Johnson’s core values.

Foremost in SC Johnson’s dedication to the environment is its Greenlist. Greenlist isn’t a list, despite its name. Developed in 2001 with input from the Environmental Protection Agency and Forum for the Future, Greenlist classifies raw materials used by the company’s products for their impact on the environment and human health. Through the Greenlist process, SC Johnson has removed more then 61 million pounds of volatile organic compounds from its products by enhancing biodegradability and improving the packaging of their products.

SC Johnson’s environmental focus isn’t just on the products it manufactures, but also on the location of where those products are made.

Since 2000, SC Johnson has steadily reduced the greenhouse gas emissions from its factories across the globe, specifically at its seven largest plants and at others across the United States.

By 2008, SC Johnson had cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 27 percent across the globe, and by 17 percent within the United States since 2005.

The key to SC Johnson’s impressive reductions comes from an understanding of and commitment to renewable energy sources. First the company has exploited wind power as a green alternative to coal to power its offices and plants. Wind turbines power plants in Bay City, Michigan, Mijdrecht, The Netherlands, and at SC Johnson’s headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin.

Depending on the results, the company will extend wind power capabilities to a number of its other U.S.-based offices.

In addition, SC Johnson is using cogeneration turbines to power its plant in Racine. Cogeneration is among the most popular forms of recycling, utilizing landfill resources to generate both electricity and heat for plant operations. In doing so, SC Johnson has eliminated 52,000 tons of greenhouse emissions from the plant each year since the turbine was installed in 2003.

SC Johnson’s third form of renewable energy is palm shells. In 2007, SC Johnson began using palm shells, waste from the palm oil, as biofuel. The use of the palm shells has reduced greenhouse emissions by more than 15 percent and diesel fuel use by 80 percent.

But SC Johnson doesn’t just rely on its own initiatives. They are a family company, and they consider their customers part of that family. To encourage customers to participate in helping the environment, SC Johnson began a unique marketing campaign in which the company pledged to donate $1 (up to $25,000) to Conservation International’s Team Earth for every tip or tactic to save energy, recycle, or any other Earth-friendly action submitted by their customers. (You can leave SC Johnson a comment by clicking here and help them help contribute to Team Earth.)

In addition, the company offers tips on everything from saving energy to recycling around the house to not standing too long in front of the fridge to encouraging us to downing down the thermostat when we go to bed. These are easy tips to begin using around your own house.

The company has been recognized for its efforts. SC Johnson received the first-ever Lifetime Atmospheric Achievement Award from the EPA, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Performance in Wisconsin, and the Gold Medal for International Corporate Environmental Achievement from the World Environment Centre.

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