Seventh Generation’s new automatic dishwasher detergent pacs are
concentrated and chlorine- and phosphate-free.
The launch of these lines caused Simple Green’s sales to
slip—but the company is fighting back. Nearly a year ago, it
launched Simple Green Naturals, which contain 100% naturally sourced ingredients—no synthetic preservatives, colorants or fragrances.
“We had been working on these naturally derived formulations for about one-and-a-half years prior to the launch,”
explained Carol Chapin, senior director, research & development, Sunshine Makers, Inc., the parent company of
Simple Green. “We were aware that there was a consumer
demand for products made from natural or naturally
derived ingredients and wanted to respond with a Simple
Green brand. After all, our mission statement calls for
innovation in developing the most effective environmentally responsible products possible.”
Ingredients in Simple Green Naturals come from bioorganics such as chicory, coconut, corn, palm, minerals, salt
and sugar. In addition, the scents are 100% natural essential oils and plant extracts manufactured to the most stringent regulations of the International Fragrance
Association, which the company notes ensures skin-sensiti-zation does not occur when these products contact skin.
The full line of Simple Green Naturals includes liquid
hand soap, dishwashing liquid, glass and surface care,
bathroom cleaner, multi-surface care, floor care, concentrated cleaner and carpet cleaner.
Just last month, five of the products in the Simple Green
Naturals line received Green Seal Certification. The products certified under the Green Seal Environmental
Standard for General-Purpose, Bathroom, Glass, and
Carpet Cleaners Used for Household Purposes (GS- 8) are
Multi-Surface Care, Glass & Surface Care, Bathroom
Cleaner, Floor Care, and Dilutable Concentrated Cleaner.
The Carpet Cleaner (spot/stain remover), Liquid Hand
Soap and Dish Washing Liquid were not submitted, as the
GS- 8 standard does not apply to those products.
According to Ms. Chapin, part of the Green Seal scrutiny of
a cleaning product, and one reason why Sunshine Makers
selected Green Seal certification over other programs, is an
assessment of efficacy.
“Our Naturals products were tested at an ISO certified laboratory. Under ASTM D4488-95-A6 Cleaning Performance
Testing, our Naturals Multi-Surface Care product had an
average cleaning efficiency score 22% higher than the comparable Green Works product,” she said. “We had our
Naturals Dishwashing Liquid tested under ASTM D4009-92
against Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear dishwashing
detergent and it cleaned two to three more plates before full
Similar standardized tests were performed on all Naturals
products against both “green” and traditional products and,
overall, Simple Green Naturals performed as well, if not better, within testing margins, than the competitor products,
according to Ms. Chapin.
S.C. Johnson entered the fray in January, with the launch of
Nature’s Source. Specifically, the line includes Nature’s
Source Natural Glass & Surface Cleaner by Windex, Nature’s
Source Natural All-Purpose Cleaner by Scrubbing Bubbles,
Nature’s Source Natural Bathroom Cleaner by Scrubbing
Bubbles and Nature’s Source Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner by
Scrubbing Bubbles. All four products were recognized for
safer chemistry by the Environmental Protection Agency’s
(EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) partnership program. Each uses plant-based, biodegradable cleaners and are
sold in recyclable bottles that list all the ingredients on the
label. Further, they do not contain ammonia, bleach or phosphorus, meet S.C. Johnson’s Greenlist criteria for sourcing
ingredients and are partly produced by renewable energy
from a local landfill.
Effective and Natural
“S.C. Johnson has a long-standing commitment to the environment and doing what's right for future generations—and
an equally long legacy of meeting families’ evolving needs,”
said Kelly Semrau, S.C. Johnson’s vice president of global
public affairs and communication, in a statement. “Nature’s
Source is our answer for those who want a natural choice in
cleaners that is widely available, affordable and gets the job
Although the products are more than 99% natural, they’re
also backed by the well-known Windex and Scrubbing
Bubbles brand names. According to research conducted by
Harris Interactive for SCJ, the majority of parents (62%) are
interested in using natural cleaners to benefit their family’s
health, but 44% don’t think that natural cleaners are as effective as traditional cleaners.
In launching the line, S.C. Johnson is hitting hard at moms’
green conscious. According to the Nature’s Source Natural