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Never mind ‘greenhushing,’ this company is championing its new B Corp certification

Sanofi, which makes brands including Allegra and Icy Hot, is trumpeting its commitment to environmental and social causes.
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The old packaging with a plastic window (left); the newer recyclable packaging (right) containing no plastic. Sanofi

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These days it seems Kermit was onto something about being green. ESG, for environmental, social, and corporate governance, until recently popularly championed by companies, is now criticized as “woke capitalism” by some Republican lawmakers, and was debated in the House Oversight Committee in May.

The Washington Post recently wrote about “greenhushing,” which it described as when brands “keep quiet about their environmental goals, sometimes for fear of public backlash.”

But it turns out one company that seems unconcerned about being labeled as “woke” is, fittingly, the maker of popular sleep-aid brand Unisom. Sanofi Consumer Healthcare North America—whose brands also include Allegra, Rolaids, and that oxymoronic chestnut, Icy Hot—recently received B Corp Certification from B Lab, which evaluates companies on what it calls “a company’s entire social and environmental impact.”

Among the efforts that earned the company its certification:

  • Eliminating 35 tons of plastic packaging per year by removing plastic windows on Allegra, Nasacort, and other products.
  • Relying on only renewable electricity for its North American manufacturing and distribution sites (through the purchase of wind-energy renewable energy credits).
  • Having 41% of senior leadership roles filled by women, roles it defines as C-suite and one level below, with a commitment to reach 50/50 gender parity in those positions by 2025.

Far from greenhushing, the company is highlighting its certification prominently on its website.

“We are honored to join the B Corp movement alongside other companies aiming to transform business into a force for good,” Andrew Loucks, head of North America Consumer Healthcare at Sanofi, said in a press release. “Our B Corp Certification is another step in our journey to champion better self-care for a healthier society and a healthier planet.”

Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.