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SC Johnson cleans up with Ecover and Method purchase

Dec 6

Written by:
06/12/2017 10:55  RssIcon

Two ethical companies have been bought up by a mainstream multinational


With ethical consumers still conflicted following the purchase of Pukka teas by Unilever, another two ethical companies have been bought up by a mainstream multinational.


Image: Cleaning Products


Non-toxic, plant-based cleaning products company, Ecover, and its sister brand Method, have been bought by SC Johnson, a US cleaning products company best known for brands like Pledge, Mr Muscle and Shout – brands not usually highlighted for their green cleaning properties.


Ethical rating drops

The deal means that Ecover’s ethiscore falls from 11.5 to 9.5. Method products get an extra half point for being vegan so its score drops from 12 to 10. 

Ecover and Method were owned by a B Corp, People Against Dirty. A B Corp is a company certified to be for the benefit of all stakeholders, not just shareholders. Ecover and Method are companies which were set up explicitly to make and sell environmental products.

SC Johnson is a private company and one of the biggest cleaning companies in the world with sales of $12 billion. Ecover and Method had sales of $200 million.


Animal Testing

Ecover and Method get our best rating for animal testing because all their products are certified as cruelty free. SC Johnson gets our worst rating because its policy states:

“we see an important need for toxicological studies that ensure they can be used safely and with minimal impact on the environment. Also, SC Johnson must comply with the stringent legal and regulatory requirements of countries around the world that require, by law, testing for certain products”.



Method and Ecover are also well known for their use of responsible packaging. Nearly all of Method’s packaging is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. Ecover’s bottles are made of 75% plastic derived from sugarcane rather than petroleum and 25% post-consumer recycled plastic.

The sale is disappointing because Ecover and Method were recommended as widely available brands in our guides to cleaning products. Our top rated Best Buys included Greenescents, Sodasan, Faith in Nature, Bio-D, ECOS and Ecoleaf. 

Even if Ecover and Method maintain their ethical stance and continue to make non-animal tested, green cleaning products in sustainable packaging, your money will still be going to a company which does not maintain these values in the rest of the products that it makes.

The takeover is still subject to regulatory approvals but it is unlikely to be refused. 



See our ethical guide to cleaning products for a comparison of 41 household cleaners. 








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