SC Johnson, a family-owned and managed business, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, and insect control. The company was founded in 1886, generates US$ 9 billion in sales, employs nearly 13,000 people globally, and has operations in more than 70 countries.
Since 2005, the company has been working in Nairobi, Kenya, as a co-founder, strategic partner and supplier of Community Cleaning Services (CCS). The CCS business venture uses a micro franchise distribution platform to offer an integrated model of awareness creation, training, quality assurance, product supply and marketing support to sanitation service providers (mobile cleaning teams and public toilet operators) who are delivering toilet cleaning services across Nairobi’s low-income communities. CCS creates income generating opportunities and drives sanitation improvements by delivering significantly cleaner, more hygienic and more usable toilets at an affordable cost for low-income clients (around 20 cents U.S. per family per week, the same cost as a soda).
This case study outlines SC Johnson’s learning journey of how, leveraging resources and expertise from within the company, local entrepreneurs, and social sector partners, CCS has developed an innovative ready-to-use solution to the “software” challenges (ongoing management and maintenance of toilets), as opposed to the toilet “hardware” or infrastructure construction challenges, of urban sanitation.