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Burt’s Bees Sets Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal

burts_bees708.jpgBurt’s Bees has pledged to  cut its U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent per dollar sales from 2006 to 2011. Last fall, Burt’s Bees joined the US EPA’s Climate Leaders program and has spent the last six months completing a GHG inventory.

Sustainability Goals set for 2020 include sustainable products and packaging, zero landfill waste, 100% renewable energy, LEED certified facilities, and 100% employee engagement.

The company is taking big and small steps toward carbon reduction by installing highly energy efficient IT systems and replacing conventional lighting with high efficiency T5-HO high-bay lighting. The company has also installed a sensor-activated motorized drive roller conveyor at its distribution center in North Carolina, which has already helped it increase efficiency and decrease the company’s energy use.

Earlier this year, the company purchased 3,954,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy credits generated by wind farms, offseting 100 percent of the company’s electricity use.

In November, Clorox paid almost $1 billion for Burt’s. Some have worried that Clorox will not maintain Burt’s Bees environmental practices, but others have said that the purchase of Burt’s Bees could make Clorox more green.

You can see a video of CEO John Replogle speaking about Burt’s Bees and sustainability here.

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One thought on “Burt’s Bees Sets Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal

  1. I do not agree with the idea that Clorox will push their ideals upon Burt’s Bees. I think it is far more likely to be the other way around. Why would Clorox invest $1 billion to buy Burt’s Bee and then change the very reason the company has become such a success? Who better to learn about being sustainable than from someone who has already done it. And Burt’s Bees didn’t actually “go green”. They began with a natural product and have built their business with the earth and its people in mind.

    I think that Clorox and other large corporations are wise to purchase smaller, more environmentally and socially conscious businesses. These organizations have shown that a triple bottom line focus works. Here are two examples of a child company can maintain its identity despite being in the shadow of much larger parent.

    Burt’s Bees – In a June 12th, 2008 letter, John Replogle, President and CEO, points out that since their union with Clorox began, Burt’s commitment to sustainability has remained strong. It partnered with other health care companies to develop a nationwide Natural Standard in an attempt to protect the term “natural” as it relates to the health care products industry. It also hosted an inaugural Plant Earth Day in Raleigh, NC that attracted 15,000 people. They have cut energy use by 30% and water use by almost 10%. Hardly the work of a company being stifled by its parent. In fact, Replogle points out that since acquiring Burt’s Bees, Clorox has joined the EPA Climate Leaders and has worked with Burt’s Bees to evaluate animal testing of its products. Clearly, Clorox is partnering with Burt’s in an attempt to align itself with the growing demand for natural and safe consumer products.

    Stonyfield Farm – A natural and organic yogurt maker from my home state of NH, Stonyfield Farm has been making wonderfully tasting and environmentally friendly yogurt since the early 1980s. Founder and CEYo, Gary Hirschberg, has been leading the health food industry and urging his customers to support everything from local, organic farms to political action. When Groupe Danone, an international purveyor of Evian water, Dannon yogurt, and other consumer products, gained a controlling interest in Stonyfield Farm, Hirshberg made sure that there were no management changes made at his company. Maintaining his leadership team has allowed Stonyfield to work more or less as they did before the change of owners. Of course, Groupe Dannone holds the purse strings but they also understand that Stonyfield Farm has been growing at 20% a year since it began because it has a winning formula. Do what is right for the people it works with and what is best for the planet.

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