SC Johnson recently announced the newest expansion of its ingredient disclosure program – the addition of product-specific fragrance disclosure. Here’s a look at some key facts about this next step in the company’s decades-long journey to transform industry efforts on transparency.
What is SC Johnson’s news?
We have shared our entire list of fragrance ingredients – what we call our SC Johnson Fragrance Palette – since 2012. These are the ingredients that our suppliers are approved to use when creating fragrances for SC Johnson products. We publish the list on our ingredient site here.
What’s new is that now we are also going an additional step further and correlating specific fragrance ingredients to specific products. So you can visit our WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com website and see the majority of the fragrance ingredients in a specific product, rather than just seeing our palette of fragrance ingredients.
Why didn’t SC Johnson provide product-specific fragrance disclosure before?
Fragrance suppliers consider their unique fragrance recipes to be proprietary information. So, it took a lot of dialogue to convince them to allow us to share details about specific fragrances. We negotiated with our key suppliers to be allowed to share the vast majority of a product’s fragrance ingredients with just a bit held back for confidentiality.
How much are you sharing?
It depends on the product, but our goal is to provide the longest list of fragrance ingredients that we can, while upholding our agreements with our fragrance suppliers. With that in mind, we negotiated a couple different disclosure options:
1. Our goal is to list all fragrance ingredients down to .09 percent of the total product formula. For many products, this will give a very significant list of ingredients and cover the majority of them.
2. But in some cases, because the amount of fragrance in a total product is so small, even disclosing 99.91 percent of the total product formula doesn’t provide that much information. In that case, we’ve committed to list the top 10 fragrance ingredients, provided there are at least 20 fragrance ingredients present.
Why was the cutoff of .09 percent selected?
It was an amount that we could gain agreement on with our suppliers, and we felt it provided a robust amount of information for consumers. Disclosing down to .09 percent of a total product formula is the equivalent of disclosing 9,999 parts out of 10,000. Proportionately, that’s comparable to walking all but 4.8 feet of a mile or keeping all but 9 cents of a $100 bill.
Can you give some examples of how the disclosure options are applied?
Example 1: Glade® Sense & Spray Refill: Clean Linen®. Disclosing fragrance ingredients down to .09 percent of the total product formula enables us to share 21 fragrance ingredients, which is the better option versus sharing the top 10.
Example 2: Glade® Solid: Cashmere Woods®. Disclosing fragrance ingredients down to .09 percent of the total product formula doesn’t provide many ingredients, so we went a step further and listed the top 10 fragrance ingredients even though they are below the 99.91 percent planned disclosure.
Example 3: Glade® PlugIns® Scented Oil Refills – Blooming Peony & Cherry™. Disclosing fragrance ingredients down to .09 percent of the total product formula enables us to share 45 fragrance ingredients, which is the better option versus sharing the top 10.
How does SC Johnson determine what fragrance ingredients can be used in its products?
While many companies develop their fragrances from a list of approximately 3,200 fragrance materials, based on guidance from the International Fragrance Association (IFRA), SC Johnson takes its review a step further. We start with the IFRA list and then additionally apply our own internal requirements, which look at the same criteria as IFRA but also consider other factors such as consumer confidence or other scientific viewpoints. The end result is our SC Johnson Fragrance Palette, which is smaller and more exclusive than the IFRA list, excluding around 2,000 potential ingredients from use.
What is SC Johnson’s perspective on calls for total fragrance disclosure?
We work hard to make ingredient choices that make our products both safe and effective, and we believe in being transparent about these choices. That’s why we launched ingredient disclosure back in 2009 and published our fragrance palette in 2012. And, we continue working with our suppliers – our goal is even more disclosure in the future. We understand that some people may be negatively affected by certain ingredients, and we want to make information available so they can make the right choices for their families.