Location: Racine, Wis.
Year founded: 1886
Revenue: $7 Billion
Employees: 12,000Three generations of committed environmental stewardship.
In 1935, long before sustainability became a corporate buzzword, H.F. Johnson Jr. led a 15,000-mile expedition to Brazil in search of a sustainable source of wax, the carnauba palm tree, for his company's first product, Johnson's Wax.
His grandson and the current CEO, Fisk Johnson, has continued that legacy at S.C. Johnson, a family-owned company that makes Windex, Pledge, Ziploc bags and Raid. Its most notable innovation is its Greenlist process, a classification system that evaluates the impact of thousands of raw materials on human and environmental health. By using Greenlist, S.C. Johnson eliminated 1.8 million pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from Windex and four million pounds of polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) from Saran Wrap, which is now PVDC-free. (VOCs and PVDC are both pollutants.) The company licenses Greenlist royalty-free to other firms that want to use it. It is also cutting back its reliance on coal-fired power, recently building its own power plant that runs on natural gas and methane piped in from a nearby landfill. Glenn Pricket of Conservation International says that when it comes to the environment, "Fisk Johnson is probably the most personally committed CEO I've met." --Marc Gunther