With today’s launch of Windex® Mini, a concentrated refill pouch that uses 90 percent less plastic packaging than a traditional 26 fluid ounce trigger bottle, global environmental leader SC Johnson is taking
another bold step to help consumers make greener choices.
Concentrates use less packaging, decrease shipping impacts and reduce waste that ends
up in our nation’s landfills. Yet sales data shows U.S. consumers prefer not to refill their household cleaning bottles. This means stores won’t stock concentrates and companies hesitate to create them. With this test, SC Johnson wants to understand how to motivate consumers and retailers to consider trading up from traditional cleaning methods to a greener choice.
“By conservative estimates, a flexible pouch saves six times as much plastic waste that goes into a landfill compared to a traditional bottle,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “Refilling with a concentrate is an example of a very small behavior change that could make a real difference in minimizing waste. But many people don’t want the inconvenience. We want to crack the code and figure out what it would take to make concentrated refills an accepted – even demanded – choice.”
Leading the Change, Learning Along the Way
The Windex® Mini concentrated refill pouch launch comes on the heels of Johnson’s speech at the 2011 Fortune Brainstorm Green conference in April. He spoke about the challenge of getting U.S. consumers to adopt concentrates, and his remarks received an enthusiastic response. Thus began a go-to-market plan to get Windex® Mini concentrated refill pouches into the hands of U.S. consumers in less than 15 weeks.
“The environment isn’t top of mind in most consumer purchases right now, but it needs to be if we’re going to address some of the challenges that future generations could face,” Johnson said. “What we try to do at SC Johnson is get product choices out there that work well and also have a better environmental profile than the ones that came before them.”
Windex® Mini concentrated refill pouch delivers the streak-free results consumers expect from the 75-year heritage of the Windex® brand. In just three easy steps – cut, pour, add water – consumers can refill a clean, single 26 fluid ounce Windex® bottle with cleaner. To get the revolution rolling, the product is being sold directly by SC Johnson at www.scjgreenerchoices.com in three-packs of “snip ‘n’ pour” pouches.
It’s About Dialogue
With Windex® Mini concentrated refill pouch, SC Johnson hopes to gain valuable insight into how Americans use concentrated cleaning products.
“We want to create an open dialogue and get feedback from consumers once they give Windex® Mini concentrated refill pouch a try,” said Kelly M. Semrau, Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs, Communication & Sustainability. “We know this initial test won’t be perfect, but to create real change we need to hear what consumers want and need, and learn as we go.”
The company invites Windex® Mini concentrated refill pouch purchasers to visit www.scjgreenerchoices.com to post comments and critiques about their experience with the product.
Small Change, Big Difference
The trigger bottle for Windex® Original glass cleaner is already produced with 50 percent post consumer recycled content. Choosing to refill with one Windex® Mini concentrated refill pouch has an immediate positive impact:
Requires 90 percent less plastic packaging than a 26 fluid ounce trigger bottle — enough to make 6.5 ballpoint pens
Avoids transporting 22.4 fluid ounces of water — nearly 1.5 pounds by weight
If SC Johnson can prove that concentrates will sell, and convince retailers to stock them, it could make an even bigger impact. People buy approximately 21 million bottles of Windex® Original glass cleaner each year. If just 20 percent of those were refilled, each year it could:
Save 350,000 pounds of plastic – that’s 26 million ballpoint pens
Avoid using 175,000 pounds of virgin plastic — that’s 3 million soda bottles
Avoid transporting 735,000 gallons of water — that’s more than 6 million pounds by weight
Online Forum for Change
To support the launch of Windex® Mini concentrated refill pouches, the company is expanding its corporate website, www.scjohnson.com, to include a “Greener Choices” section. This forum, available directly at www.scjgreenerchoices.com, covers four main topic areas: Conserving Energy, More with Less, Reduce & Recycle and Everyday Alternatives.
Greener Choices includes tips on small, easy choices families can make, as well as an area where people can post their own environmental tips and recommendations. In addition, the site offers perspective from well-known environmental blogger Scarlet Paolicchi of Family Focus Blog, and FAQs from SC Johnson about its own green practices.
Also part of Greener Choices is a new carbon calculator that SC Johnson is launching in partnership with Conservation International (CI). The easy-to-use tool, designed by CI, offers a detailed analysis of a family’s carbon impact based on home energy use, vehicles, diet and more. It also offers suggestions to lower your impact and a chance to offset it.
This isn’t the first time the 125-year-old privately held company has led the charge to green the consumer products industry – learn more about the SC Johnson’s sustainability initiatives in the 2010 Public Report.
article and image courtesy of prnewswire.com