This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

SC Johnson Polishes the Enviro-Truth

A current TV commercial promotes the environmental goodness of SC Johnson , the maker of Raid, Drano, Scrubbing Bubbles and Saran Wrap.

Hardly the kind of products that one associates with a pristine eco-system.

In the commercial , CEO H. Fisk Johnson praises his father for removing chlorofluorocarbons from the company's products in 1975, three years before the government banned them, and brags about making products like Windex, Shout and Pledge "better for the environment and better for your family."

My greenwashing radar was pinging away.

If a company has to go back 37 years to find a good example of its environmental citizenship, how progressive can it be?

But it also made me think of a common complaint by CEOs of big old-line companies that if they make any effort at environmental improvement they are certain to be criticized for not doing enough. I decided to take a closer look at what's actually in SC Johnson's products and what environmental watchdogs have to say.

Ellis Jones, author of The Better World Shopping Guide, grades consumer products and companies on social and environmental responsibility. He gives SC Johnson a B-, above Procter & Gamble (PG), which garners a C for a mixed track record, but short of the full B he gives to other mainstream companies that he sees making a serious effort.

I'd agree with Jones' assessment. The company clearly is pursuing environmental initiatives on different fronts. But as a private, family-run business, it doesn't have to release very much information about itself. It takes full advantage of this by providing selective information about its eco-successes instead of being truly transparent.

In November, for example, SC Johnson issued a press announcement touting a yearlong effort to reconfigure the way it packs its trucks to maximize space and use less gas. It claims to have reduced its annual truckloads by 2,100 trips, cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 1,882 tons and cut fuel usage by 168,000 gallons.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs