Case Study: SC Johnson and the Greenlist Backlash

By May 24, 2013Library

This case was developed under the supervision of Andrew Hoffman by graduate students Alice Appleton, Cara Bastoni, Kara Davidson (Erb ’13) and Yuan Zhang.

SC Johnson developed the ingredient improvement process, called Greenlist™ to reduce the negative environmental impacts of its products by substituting less harmful ingredients wherever possible. Significant environmental improvements were made in many of the company’s products, such as Windex®, and the company developed a Greenlist™ label to demonstrate to consumers that a product had been improved by the process. In 2008 and 2009, two lawsuits were filed accusing SC Johnson of deceptively marketing its products as “green”, as the Greenlist™ label led consumers to believe the products had been certified by an objective third party.

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