SC Johnson's CSR Initiatives - Testing the 'Base of The Pyramid' Protocol

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG072
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 1994-2006
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : SC Johnson
Industry : Consumer Products
Countries : US

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"SC Johnson's forward-thinking decision to test the Base of the Pyramid Protocol is consistent with the company's commitment to improving the communities and individuals touched by its business. The success of the pilot is a testament to SC Johnson's drive to add value to consumers in new markets."1

- Prof. Stuart L Hart2, Samuel C. Johnson Chair of Sustainable Global Enterprise, in 2006.

"As a family company, we focus on doing what's right for people, the environment and business. The BOP strategy aligns with our ongoing commitment to further identify and develop sustainable new products and categories that can improve the lives of consumers at all levels of the economic pyramid."3

- Dr. Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO, SC Johnson & Son Inc., in 2005.


SC Johnson & Son Inc. (SC Johnson), the leading manufacturer of household cleaning supplies and other consumer chemicals in the US, has been known for its practices in sustainable development.

The company, based in Racine, Wisconsin, focused on four areas of sustainable development:

advancing social progress and public health, using earth-responsible raw materials, preventing insect-borne diseases, and reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

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The family-owned company, part of the Johnson Family Enterprises which included the Johnson Financial Group, Johnson Diversey Inc, and Johnson Outdoors, operated in 70 countries across the world as of 2006.

Its well-known products included Ziploc bags, Glade air freshener, Raid insect controller, Vanish toilet cleaner, and Scrubbing Bubbles automatic shower cleaner.

SC Johnson had two important corporate goals:

growing its brands across the world and achieving the company's environmental and social responsibility objectives at the same time. In order to create synergies between both these goals, the company used the Base of the Pyramid (BOP) Protocol4.

SC Johnson's CSR Initiatives - Testing the 'Base of The Pyramid' Protocol - Next Page>>

1] "Cornell's Johnson School and SC Johnson Pilot Base of the Pyramid (TM) Protocol in Kenya,"Press Release from SC Johnson & Son Inc,, November 03, 2006.

2] Stuart L Hart is Professor of Management and SC Johnson Chair of Sustainable Global Enterprise at Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. He is renowned for study on implications of sustainable development and environmentalism on business strategy. He is the author of Capitalism at Crossroads: the unlimited business opportunities in solving the world's most difficult problems.

3] "Innovative Base of the Pyramid (BOP) Approach Highlighted in Newly Released Report,", June 07, 2005.

4] The BOP Protocol is defined as "a pioneering business incubation process that enables multinational corporations to generate new business opportunities at the Base of the Pyramid. Based on a participatory philosophy, the BOP Protocol is a model for business co-creation that marries MNCs' resources, technologies, and best practices with those of the community"(


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