Manufacturing Sustainability: Green Manufacturing News

SC Johnson Ranks Number 8 on EPA's Top 20 On-Site Generation List

posted by Wendy Stott
Published: February 11, 2011

SC Johnson announced today that it has been recognized as number 8 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Top 20 On-Site Generation list. SC Johnson generates over 25 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity from an on-site landfill gas system. By producing green power on-site, SC Johnson demonstrates its continued commitment to move away from traditional sources of electricity generation in support of cleaner renewable energy alternatives.

In addition to its on-site generation, SC Johnson purchases a utility green power product from Spartan Renewable Energy in Cadillac, Mich. In total, SC Johnson uses more than 57 million kWh of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 30 percent of the organization's electricity use.

"We are very honored to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," said Fisk Johnson, SC Johnson Chairman and CEO. "Generating our own green power in combination with purchased green power helps us to lessen our environmental footprint and become more sustainable. As a fifth generation family company, it is part of our DNA. We are committed to doing what's right for our consumers, communities, and our planet. Supporting clean sources of energy is a 'win-win' for everyone."  

SC Johnson's generation and purchase of green power also qualifies it for EPA's Green Power Leadership Club, a distinction given to organizations that have significantly exceeded EPA's minimum purchase requirements. Green Power Leadership Club members must purchase ten times the partnership's minimum requirement organization-wide. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program of the EPA that recognizes and provides technical assistance to companies demonstrating environmental leadership in choosing to purchase green power for their U.S. operation.

Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro.  Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.

"EPA's Green Power Partners are tapping into America's growing clean energy market and powering the economy of the future," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson on Tuesday.  "Investments like these are smart for business, foster growth in the green energy sector and help protect our health through cleaner air."

According to the U.S. EPA, SC Johnson green power use of more than 57 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 8,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of nearly 5,000 average American homes annually.

History of Doing it Right

For decades, SC Johnson has taken steps to minimize its environmental impact. Since 2000 alone, its U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are down by 29 percent. In addition, 39.7 percent of the company's electricity is sourced from renewable energy.

  • In 2003, SC Johnson built its first cogeneration turbine in Racine, Wis. to provide power for its largest global factory (2.2 million square feet). The plant uses landfill gas to create electricity for power and generate steam to heat operations. The turbine produces 3,200 kilowatts of electricity and 19,000 pounds of steam per hour.
  • In 2008, SC Johnson secured a clean source for 46 percent of the electricity required to run its Bay City, Mich. factory. Renewable wind power now replaces nearly half the factory's annual purchase of coal-fired electricity.