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Fact Sheet: SC Johnson Milestones in Environmental Leadership

SC Johnson’s environmental leadership spans decades and includes leadership in environmental conservation, ingredient responsibility, renewable energy use and transparency. Here are some key milestones in our history of doing what’s right.

  • 1975: SC Johnson voluntarily and unilaterally eliminates chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from our aerosol products to protect the ozone layer. The move comes three years before the U.S. mandate and more than a decade before the 1987 Montreal Protocol.

  • 1979: We sponsor the environmental documentary Living Planet to help introduce audiences to the Earth from above and make the case for environmental conservation.

  • 1990: SC Johnson commissions a pioneering study about public attitudes on the environment. It becomes the precursor to GfK Roper’s Green Gauge® Report.

  • 1990s: We lead a national grassroots coalition in the U.S. to promote aerosol can recycling. As a result, 5,600 communities have access to curbside or drop-off aerosol can recycling today. 

  • 1991: The publication of our first sustainability report makes SC Johnson one of the first consumer packaged goods companies to report openly and extensively about its programs and policies. See our latest report.

  • 1994: SC Johnson receives the World Environment Center Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development.

  • 1998: We help create The Caatinga Association to study and protect the Caatinga region of Brazil, which is home to remarkable biodiversity.

  • 2001: SC Johnson formalizes our first-of-its-kind Greenlist™ program as a way to continually improve products by choosing ingredients that better protect human health and the environment.

  • 2002: We become the first consumer packaged goods manufacturer to join the U.S. EPA’s Climate Leaders program, a voluntary partnership to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2006, we’re among the first participants to reach its GHG reduction targets.

  • 2003: SC Johnson breaks ground on our first cogeneration turbine to produce electricity for the company’s largest global manufacturing facility using methane gas from a nearby public landfill.

  • 2003: The U.S. EPA awards SC Johnson the first-ever Lifetime Atmospheric Achievement Award.

  • 2004: SC Johnson eliminates PVC and PVDC from products and packaging due to concerns about the release of toxic chemicals into the environment when materials containing chlorine end up in municipal incinerators. 

  • 2004: We install our second cogeneration turbine at Waxdale, using clean-burning natural gas to generate electricity. With our first cogeneration turbine, this allows us to generate 85% of Waxdale’s energy needs.

  • 2006: In recognition of our Greenlist™ program and commitment to responsible ingredient choices, SC Johnson receives both the Ron Brown Award and the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. 

  • 2008: We’re recognized with the U.S. EPA Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative (SDSI) Award for eliminating all nonylphenol ethoxylate surfactant from our products.

  • 2009: SC Johnson takes the lead on ingredient transparency within our industry, launching a website to list U.S. product ingredients including specific dyes. Today the site serves consumers everywhere around the world who use our products. See our ingredient transparency fact sheet. 

  • 2011: We launch Windex® Mini concentrated cleaner to help drive dialogue about concentrated cleaner refills and the potential to reduce waste going to landfills. In 2012, we expand our concentrated cleaner program with more brands and new easy-to-recycle packaging. 

  • 2012: The United Nations and Foundation for Social Change honor SC Johnson as global Leader of Change.

  • 2012: SC Johnson powers up two 415-foot-tall wind turbines at our largest global manufacturing facility, enabling the facility to produce an average of 100 percent of our electrical energy onsite.

  • 2013: We launch Ziploc® brand compostable bags (Online Only) to encourage use of commercial composting to reduce landfill waste. The bags are designed for commercial composting, which is more efficient than backyard composting. 

  • 2014: We’re honored with a SmartWay® Excellence Award from the U.S. EPA for the third consecutive year.

  • 2015: For a second time, SC Johnson receives the prestigious World Environment Center Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development.

  • 2016: After years of advocating for chemical reform in the United States, SC Johnson is honored to be mentioned by name by U.S. President Barack Obama as he signs new legislation that raises the standard for all companies.

  • 2016: We receive the 2016 Western Hemisphere Corporate Citizenship Award from the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America & the Caribbean (AACCLA) for our “SCJ Recycles” program in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.

  • 2017: SC Johnson reaches another milestone in our efforts to reduce GHG emissions, with a third manufacturing site now running on 100% wind energy.

  • 2017: We partner with Conservation International to complete the largest-ever acre-for-acre match program to conserve the Amazon rainforest.

  • 2017: Seventeen SC Johnson sites are now zero manufacturing waste to landfill, and 14 of those sites are zero waste to landfill.

  • 2018: Climate Leadership Award for Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management Goal Setting from The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry. 

  • 2019: SC Johnson launches the first bottle made with 100% ocean-bound, post-consumer recycled plastic from a major home cleaning brand.

  • 2019: SC Johnson expands concentrated refills to e-commerce and more markets to support reuse of bottles and reduce waste.

  • 2019: 100% of SC Johnson factories sent zero manufacturing waste to landfill.

  • 2020: Our continuing commitment to reducing our footprint was recognized again in 2020 with the Climate Leadership Award for Excellence in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Management from The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry. This is our fifth Climate Leadership Award for GHG management.