Better products from better information.
In 2001, SC Johnson developed the Greenlist™ process to classify ingredients considered for use in our products by their impact on the environment and human health. Today, SC Johnson scientists have a computerized, global system that helps them select the best available ingredients and continually improve our products.
Our now-patented Greenlist™ process includes ratings for more than 95% of the ingredients we use. It has been scientifically reviewed by numerous organizations, and we continue to add to and improve the process.
Our goal with the Greenlist™ process is that beyond meeting legal and regulatory requirements for our products, we also increase year-on-year the percentage of our ingredients that has the least impact on the environment and human health. We started at 18% “Better”/“Best” ingredients in 2001; today we are at 44%.
As a result, using Greenlist™ we have been able to continuously improve our products. For example, by reformulating Windex® brand glass cleaner, we cut 1.8 million pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from it while giving it 30% more cleaning power.
We’re also committed to sharing the Greenlist™ process because we believe other organizations could benefit from it, too. That’s why we have partnered with Five Winds International as our third-party administrator to license the Greenlist™ process to other companies royalty-free.
The Greenlist™ Ingredient Selection Process
Through our Greenlist™ process, each potential ingredient receives a rating from 3 to 0. An ingredient with a 3 rating is considered “Best,” 2 is “Better,” 1 is “Acceptable” and 0-rated materials are used only on a limited, approved basis when there is not a viable alternative. Whenever possible, we work toward replacing these 0-rated materials with those that have a preferable environmental or health profile.
When SC Johnson scientists create a new product or reformulation, they work to select raw materials rated “Better” or “Best.” When existing products are reformulated, the scientist must include ingredients that have ratings equal to or higher than the original formula.
This diligence helps us go beyond regulatory requirements to continually make our products better. While some raw materials with a 0 score are not restricted by government regulatory requirements, over the years SC Johnson has decided to limit their use.
The Greenlist™ process was designed to contribute to better choices in our supply chain, too. It encourages consideration of more sustainable resources, including renewable materials. It also recognizes the value of suppliers that demonstrate a higher level of environmental responsibility, such as that confirmed by ISO 14001 certification.