SC Johnson Keeps Global Promise, Expands Ingredient Transparency to Latin America
Industry-Leading Disclosure Program Reaches Consumers Around the World and Has Inspired Companies Globally
RACINE, Wisconsin, Jan. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today, SC Johnson is fulfilling a worldwide commitment made nearly 10 years ago by expanding its industry-leading global ingredient transparency program to Latin America and delivering transparency to consumers everywhere around the world who use its products.
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SC Johnson has led the industry toward greater transparency and continues to disclose beyond industry standards. The company has also led the charge with governmental bodies for positive reform of chemical management and disclosure. When the company first announced its ingredient transparency plan, regulations requiring ingredient disclosure did not exist.
“Ten years ago, SC Johnson made a commitment to global ingredient transparency. Today, by expanding our program to Latin America, we have fulfilled that commitment,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “By keeping our promise, we have brought ingredient transparency around the world, and in the process, we have helped motivate the industry toward greater transparency.”
For example, SC Johnson began disclosing product-specific fragrance ingredients in 2015. Two years later, in 2017, Procter and Gamble, Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser announced plans to increase their own products’ fragrance disclosure.
SC Johnson’s pioneering approach began in earnest in 2009, with ingredient disclosure programs launched in the U.S. and Canada. In 2016, the company’s European ingredient transparency program was unveiled at WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com. One year later, the Asia Pacific market was added to SC Johnson’s global ingredient transparency program. Latin America is the final piece of the puzzle.
“While some companies have been slow to incorporate ingredient transparency with their products, SC Johnson has always led from the front,” said Ken Cook, President of Environmental Working Group. “I applaud Fisk Johnson for his steadfast commitment to consumers as a global leader in ingredient transparency.”
SC Johnson’s leadership in ingredient transparency has paved the way for others in the industry to follow its lead. In 2015, SmartLabel® was unveiled as a digital tool to access a greater range of product ingredients, five years after SC Johnson began disclosing ingredients. SC Johnson has also led the way in advocating for product transparency at the federal and state levels, including strong support for strengthening the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act and advocating for California’s Cleaning Product Right to Know Act, which was signed into law in 2017 and made California the first state to require ingredient disclosure on product labels and online for cleaning products. SC Johnson has set a bold example in ingredient transparency that has led to meaningful change.
“The demands for transparency are not going to decrease and there are a lot of enabling technologies like blockchain that will make traceability and transparency much easier for everybody and more affordable,” said Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor with GreenBiz Group. “So as those increase and become more available, I think that will also lead to more demands for transparency.”
Leadership in Transparency
The disclosure of product ingredients is just one of many transparency initiatives SC Johnson has pursued. Over the last decade, the company:
- Was the first company to share a comprehensive list of fragrance ingredients used in its products in 2012. The SC Johnson Exclusive Fragrance Palette excludes about 2,400 ingredients that don’t meet the company’s high standards even though they meet industry standards and are legal in commerce.
- Led the industry when it added website product-specific fragrance disclosure in 2015.
- Began disclosing in 2017, on a product-specific basis, the presence of 368 potential skin allergens that may occur in its products. This goes beyond regulations and far beyond what most companies share.
- Was the first in its industry to make the rigorous science behind its ingredient selection program clear and available to the public in 2018. The peer-reviewed Greenlist™ program assesses the human health and environmental impacts of more than 3,500 ingredients used in its global product portfolio and considers both the hazard and risk associated with the use of these ingredients in its products.
- Became in 2018 the first major consumer packaged goods (CPG) company to globally disclose fragrance ingredients down to .01 percent of the product formula across its portfolio of brands.
Consumers today expect more from companies, including information about the ingredients in the products they use. According to a recent global public opinion study, 74 percent of consumers worldwide expect companies to provide product transparency on their products and services.[i]
“I’m immensely proud of the dedication and work by the people of SC Johnson to deliver global ingredient transparency,” Johnson said. “Through these efforts, SC Johnson continues to work hard to earn the goodwill of consumers. As a family company, we’re committed to honoring those values and maintaining that trust.”
“Over recent years, we have seen a lot of shifting in the area of ingredient transparency,” said Mary Mazzoni, Senior Editor of 3BL Media and TriplePundit. “For example, consumers now care about the ingredients in the products they buy, how those ingredients will affect their personal human health and, increasingly, the health of the environment.”
Making Information Available to Global Consumers
SC Johnson’s global ingredient transparency program now provides information for more than 8,700 products used in nearly every country in the world in 35 languages. By meeting this important commitment, SC Johnson is now able to offer unparalleled access to nearly 6 billion consumers, providing a comprehensive list of product ingredients for the company’s many iconic brands.
For anyone wanting to know what’s in an SC Johnson product and why, all the details are available at WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com – written in clear and straightforward terms including the purpose of each ingredient. This simple, easy-to-navigate, mobile-friendly platform enables consumers to pull up a product they are considering, see the ingredients listed in a clear and understandable format, and ultimately make the choice that is right for their families.
With its unique global reach, SC Johnson is once again raising the bar for the industry while giving more consumers around the world the tools and information they need to make informed choices. SC Johnson encourages other companies to join in disclosing their own ingredients to consumers around the world.
Fragrance Transparency Leadership
Currently, the fragrance industry uses 3,700 fragrance ingredients approved by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). In 2012, SC Johnson took the review of fragrance ingredients a step further with the creation of its Exclusive Fragrance Palette that narrowed the acceptable fragrance ingredients from 3,700 to approximately 1,300 used in SC Johnson products.
In 2015, SC Johnson was the first U.S. CPG company, working with its core fragrance suppliers, to offer product-specific fragrance ingredient disclosure. This drove a sea change across the fragrance industry that is leading to greater fragrance ingredient transparency down to the component level.
SC Johnson in 2018 became the first major CPG company to globally disclose fragrance ingredients down to .01 percent of the product formula across its portfolio of brands. This action continues the company’s decade-long journey to transform industry efforts when it comes to ingredient transparency.
In 2017, SC Johnson fulfilled a commitment it made to disclose the presence of 368 potential skin allergens by product on its ingredient website. This level of transparency goes well above and beyond current regulatory and industry standards. Other companies use similar ingredients, but only disclose per the EU 26 regulatory requirements, which only requires companies to list 26 potential skin allergens. SC Johnson takes care to use ingredients with potential skin allergens only in amounts so low that it would be highly unlikely to create a new skin allergy or trigger a skin allergy reaction.
To determine its comprehensive list of potential skin allergens, SC Johnson scientists analyzed more than 3,000 data sets from public and industry sources for potential skin allergens identified on country regulatory lists, fragrance industry lists, the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety reviews, dermatology clinic data and individual supplier safety data sheets. The company then shared its findings for validation with experts in the fields of dermatology, immuno-toxicology, fragrance toxicology and allergens.
Greenlist™ Criteria Program
Building upon the company’s transparency commitment to tell the whole story about the ingredients it uses and the rigorous science that informs those choices, SC Johnson in 2017 began sharing publicly the scientific criteria behind the company’s Greenlist™ ingredient selection program. The Greenlist™ program helps the company continually improve its products by choosing ingredients to better protect human health and the environment. People can now see, in detail, the care that goes into choosing each of the ingredients that are used in SC Johnson products.
SC Johnson’s Greenlist™ program has guided the company’s product development for nearly two decades. Every ingredient in every SC Johnson product goes through the rigorous Greenlist™ program, which is centered around a peer-reviewed, four-step evaluation of its potential impact on human health and the environment. The Greenlist™ program looks at both hazard and risk to select the ingredients the company uses, and at what concentration, if at all. It’s grounded in best-in-class data collection and driven by the company’s commitment to continually improve its products.
As part of the Greenlist™ program, SC Johnson maintains a list of ingredients that are not allowed in its products. This list is termed the “Not Allowable” list. It includes over 200 unique raw materials in roughly 90 material categories, and over 2,400 fragrance materials. These materials all meet legal and regulatory requirements — and are often used by other companies in the industry – but simply do not meet SC Johnson standards. You can find more information about SC Johnson’s Greenlist™ program in its 26th annual Sustainability Report, The Science Inside.
Calling for reform of chemical management rules at the federal level, SC Johnson was an early supporter of bipartisan efforts to update and modernize the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to achieve a credible, risk- and science-based federal program for managing chemicals in commerce that inspire confidence in the safety of chemicals used in consumer products. SC Johnson was one of the first CPG companies to publicly testify in support of strengthening the tools available to screen all chemicals in commerce, evaluate the risks of high-priority substances and regulate certain conditions of use where necessary. In 2016, following the signing into law of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, SC Johnson was singled out for leadership in championing this reform by then-U.S. President Barack Obama.
SC Johnson also supported the development and legislative approval of the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 by the California Assembly, and partnered with NGOs, industry groups and local legislators to advance the disclosure legislation. This legislation created an industry-wide ingredient communication program for manufacturers of consumer and institutional air care, automotive, general cleaning, polish and floor maintenance products – enhancing ingredient transparency for consumers by requiring full ingredient disclosure on product labels with enhanced disclosure on manufacturer websites.
Also in 2017, SC Johnson added SmartLabel® for many of its popular U.S. brands. The SmartLabel® program offers consumers easy and instantaneous access to detailed information about products — just like on the WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com website — so they can make informed decisions about the products they bring into their homes. By providing consumers with additional places to find information about its products, SC Johnson is continuing to build consumer trust.
Transparency – What’s Next
With its ingredient disclosure commitment met, SC Johnson is not stopping. Transparency will continue to be a priority as the company continually strives to be the most trusted company in its industry through greater transparency.
“We aren’t done with transparency by a longshot,” Johnson said. “Transparency is ingrained in our values and helps us remain focused on how we operate as a global company to earn the trust of consumers around the world.”
About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 133-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com
i 2017 GlobeScan Radar