Winner of EFMD Case Writing Competition, 2020 in the Corporate Social Responsibility category

SC Johnson and the Global Ocean Plastic Crisis

SC Johnson and the Global Ocean Plastic Crisis
Case Code: BECG168
Case Length: 14 Pages
Period: 2018-2020
Pub Date: 2021
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: SC Johnson & Son, Inc.
Industry: -
Countries: United States
Themes: Business Ethics, Corporate Responsibility,Sustainability,Business Ethics
SC Johnson and the Global Ocean Plastic Crisis
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case discusses S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.’s (SCJ) efforts to tackle the global crisis of plastic waste in oceans. It highlights how SCJ’s CEO and Chairman H. Fisk Johnson (Johnson) is bringing global attention to the issue of ocean plastic by raising awareness of this crisis and potential solutions by reaching and engaging people around the globe. The case explores how ocean plastic pollution is a complex environmental issue and the role companies like SCJ can play to combat it. SCJ is doing its part to address the problem of plastic pollution in oceans, including committing to make 100% of its plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, and signing the New Plastic Economy Global Commitment to help create a circular economy. SCJ had partnered with social enterprise Plastic Bank to increase recycling while helping address poverty. It had also launched the first 100% recycled ocean plastic bottle in its major home cleaning brand, Windex.

However, the company faced some challenges in its fight against ocean plastic waste including complexity of the plastic value chain, making improvements in waste management, lack of adequate government regulations, and in changing consumer behaviour towards plastic use. With ocean plastic waste being such a critical issue for the planet as well as human life, how could SCJ ensure that its commitment go far enough to drive change on the ground? What can SCJ do to capitalize on its commitment and encourage more consumers to use its “plastic positive” products?


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand the problem of ocean plastic waste and the need for companies to address it.
  • Understand the role leading players such as SCJ can play in addressing global issues such as ocean plastic pollution.
  • Evaluate the actions taken by SCJ to combat the global problem of ocean plastic waste.
  • Explore ways through which SCJ can efficiently address the ocean plastic crisis



Ocean Plastic Crisis; Sustainable Development Goals; Ocean sustainability; Ocean pollution; Climate change; Plastic value chain; CSR Landscape; Sustainability; Triple Bottom Line framework; Dimensions of sustainability; The Stakeholder Network Model; Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration; Sustainability Leadership

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