SC Johnson Commits to 100% Sustainable Palm Oil By 2015

SC Johnson, the maker of well-known brands like Ziploc and Windex, announced that by 2015, it will only purchase palm oil-based ingredients that originate from responsible and sustainably managed plantations. 

SC Johnson is working with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and with its suppliers to implement the measure.

The company uses palm oil in some of its home cleaning products as a stabilizer, which maintains product consistency. It also uses a small amount in some of its air cleaning products.

"While SC Johnson’s use of palm oil-based ingredients is relatively small, as a family company we believe responsibility is critical at every level. Being a smaller purchaser doesn’t let us off the hook," says CEO Fisk Johnson. "Our commitment to the families who buy our products is that we will work hard to identify the best ingredients, we will source them responsibly and we will be transparent about what’s inside our products."

For years, primary rainforests in Indonesia and other developing countries have been clearcut for palm oil plantations – a major cause of deforestation. 

Deforestation results in more carbon emissions than all the cars, trucks, boats and planes in the world combined, while destroying entire ecosystems. .

SC Johnson traces its environmental responsibility back to a decision to eliminate chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from its aerosols in 1975, followed by the removal of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from all its packaging in 2002 and phasing out phthalates in its fragrances starting in 2008.

In 2009, the company launched an innovative ingredient communication program that made information about ingredients in the company’s products available via a dedicated web site. By 2012, SC Johnson also will voluntarily disclose the ingredients it uses in its fragrances as well as providing information on preservatives.

SC Johnson is not the first major company to commit to sustainable palm oil. Avon (NYSE: AVP), McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD), and Kellogg (NYSE: K) have all made similar pledges in recent months.

In related news, Indonesia has finally signed into law a two-year moratorium on deforestation as part of its $1 billion climate deal with Norway.

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