SC Johnson Settles Cases Involving Greenlist™ Labeling
Continues Commitment to Continually Improving Products with its Award-winning Greenlist™ Process
(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) Racine, WI - July 8, 2011 – SC Johnson has reached an agreement on two lawsuits regarding use of its Greenlist™ logo on U.S. Windex® products. The company will stop using the logo in its current form on Windex® products, and the parties have agreed to an undisclosed settlement.“We decided to settle for two reasons. First, while we believed we had a strong legal case, in retrospect we could have been more transparent about what the logo signified,” said SC Johnson Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson. “Second, and very importantly, Greenlist™ is such a fundamentally sound and excellent process we use to green our products, that we didn’t want consumers to be confused about it due to a logo on one product.” The suits were brought in federal court by Mr. Wayne Koh in California and by Mr. Howard Petlack in Wisconsin. SC Johnson’s use of the Greenlist™ logo was intended to signify that the Windex® products had achieved the highest internal ratings according to the company’s patented Greenlist™ process. However, the plaintiffs claimed it was not clear Greenlist™ was an internally developed process rather than that of a third party and that the logo implied the products included environmentally friendly ingredients. SC Johnson continues to believe that the Greenlist™ label met all applicable standards and regulations, and the company’s intention was in no way to mislead consumers. Additionally, while the company disagreed with the plaintiffs’ claim about the impression created by the logo, the Windex® products did in fact meet the company’s highest internal standards and the product ingredients are not harmful to the environment. “While companies always try to ensure labels are clear and understandable, different interpretations can arise,” noted Kelly M. Semrau, Senior Vice President – Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability at SC Johnson. “We want to simply learn from the experience and move on.” SC Johnson proudly continues to use the Greenlist™ process in product development as the company works to use more ingredients it has rated “better” and “best.” Since the process was created in 2001, SC Johnson has used it to make numerous advances including reformulating to cut nearly 48 million pounds of VOCs from SC Johnson products in the last five years alone. Examples include:
Reformulating Windex® glass cleaner to remove 1.8 million pounds of VOCs while increasing cleaning power.
Using compressed air as a repellent in various products thus reducing their VOC content – for example in European Pledge® aerosols, this reduced VOCs by more than 25 percent.
Eliminating the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and chlorine-bleached paperboard in packaging worldwide.
Requiring SC Johnson suppliers to stop using phthalates in the fragrances supplied for our products.