SC Johnson’s 2014 sustainability report includes a special 18-page section about the company’s Greenlist™ process. The process includes ratings for each potential ingredient that feed into a Scenario Planning Tool. Formulators use the tool to compare ingredient options and select those that are “Better” than others or “Best” among them all. “Better” and “Best” are defined as:

  • BEST: Materials that have little-to-no environmental or human impact
  • BETTER: Materials with a minimal environmental or human impact

According to SC Johnson Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson, “The Greenlist™ process has helped cement the path of transparency that has fortified our sustainability progress over the years.”

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The report also marks the first publication of SC Johnson’s day-to-day “restricted-use” ingredients list. It includes key fragrance ingredients eliminated as part of the company’s US and Canada Exclusive Fragrance Palette. Eliminated ingredients include:

  1. Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), believed to cause endocrine disruption in humans and wildlife
  2. Bisphenol A (BPA), due to potential health effects in children related to behavior, the brain and the prostate gland
  3. Mercury, linked to health effects to the nervous system, particularly for infants, children and fetuses developing in the womb
  4. Nitro musks, a known pollutant harming fish
  5. Phthalates including DEP, DBP, DIBP, DPP and DEHP, because while not proven unsafe, have been the focus of significant scientific and public debate
  6. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), due to concerns around air and water contamination

“While there are 4,600 materials we screen for in our product development, the SC Johnson Greenlist™ process is not simply about eliminating the ‘bad,’” Johnson said. “It’s about making it easy for product developers to add in ‘better.’  It’s a systematic, computerized process that helps us continually make better ingredient choices for our products.”

As part of the continuous improvement principle of Greenlist™, when existing products are reformulated, the new formula must have a rating equal to or higher than the original formula. The company started with 18 percent “Better/Best” ingredients with the launch of Greenlist™ in 2001 and reached 47 percent this year. The company’s goal is 58 percent by 2016.

According to the 2014 sustainability report, SC Johnson has already met (and exceeded) two additional goals set for 2016:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from global manufacturing sites have been reduced by over 50 percent since 2000 against a goal of 48 percent
  • Global manufacturing waste has been reduced 71 percent since 2000 against a goal of 70 percent

SC Johnson is also close to meeting its goal of using 33 percent renewable energy globally by 2016. The company currently uses 32.3 percent renewable energy in the forms of wind, biofuel, cogeneration and solar.

Additional achievements announced in the 2014 sustainability report include:

  • Completion of the company’s eighth zero-landfill manufacturing site
  • Extension of a partnership with USAID and The Borlaug Institute to help Rwanda pyrethrum farmers raise their incomes 
  • Reduction of workplace safety total incident rate to 0.38 per 200,000 hours worked in 2013 and 2014, compared to the industry’s best-in-class rate of 0.50

To read SC Johnson’s full 2014 Sustainability Report, visit