Better Lives Blog
Thursday, November 20, 2014

Celebrating Progress on Our Goal to Create Better Lives

Mark Martin 


Sustainability ReportThis week, SC Johnson released its 23rd sustainability report, detailing the progress we have made against our environmental and social commitments. Currently, we are in the third year of our five-year sustainability strategy which encompass the following pillars: Smaller Footprint, Less Waste, Better Lives, Winning Products and Great Workplaces.

I am particularly proud of our achievements as they relate to ‘Better Lives’. As a global leader in pest control, we are uniquely positioned to play a prominent role in educating families on insect-borne diseases and to creating sustainable business solutions to help strengthen the most at-risk communities at the base of the pyramid-- creating a demand for cleanliness, hygiene and proper sanitation. It is truly inspiring for my team and me to see the people being helped and the lives being saved.

Although we have been passionately committed to our charitable initiatives and our Base of the Pyramid (BoP) work for decades, we have had quite a year!

For example, this past year saw the launch of our first ever global awareness campaign around insect-borne disease prevention. In 2013, SC Johnson launched “Fight Dengue for Your Family,” in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, The Philippines, Mexico, Costa Rica and Vietnam. In India, the first country to implement this program, Payal Samariya, a 12-year-old student, served as the face and hero of the campaign. Renamed as “Fight Dengue for Payal,” the program focused on dengue awareness efforts throughout India with the help of the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI).

SC Johnson’s 2014 sustainability report also profiles SC Johnson’s extended partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Borlaug Institute that helps Rwanda pyrethrum farmers boost incomes while creating a sustainable raw material source. Pyrethrum, which is an insecticide, is used for our well-known consumer pest control products such as Raid™ or Baygon™.

In addition to our work with the BoP, in the past 10 years we have made charitable contributions – product donations and aid – in our Better Lives pillar totaling $220 million. This financial support, and the grant support of our partners like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has enabled us to continue to drive research and awareness for mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria and dengue, as well as other priority giving areas for our company.

Furthermore, we are continuing to work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on a number of innovative projects focused on malaria prevention in Africa and Asia. One of the ones I am most energized by is our work with spatial repellents. These are any products that repel mosquitoes in an indoor or outdoor space and is not applied to the skin, such as a mosquito coil.

Looking back at the past year, I am invigorated by our accomplishments. And excited for what the future holds. Our user-centered approach to research has given us better insights into what consumers in BoP markets do and don’t want. We know we may not get it right the first time every time, but we are committed to making a difference in these communities.

I encourage you to explore the sustainability report, as well as check back on the ‘Better Lives blog’ often. I look forward to sharing more news of our BoP work, as well as read updates from other members of our BoP team and guest bloggers.

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