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Burt’s Bees Cuts Water Use By 20%, Electricity 14%

bbcsr2.jpgBurt’s Bees released its first CSR report this week. In the first half of 2008, the company reported it has cut its electricity use by 14 percent per sales dollar and reduced manufacturing related water use by more than 20 percent. The company also reported it reduced waste to landfill by over 50 percent in one year.

The company has pledged to cut its U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent per dollar sales from 2006 to 2011.

At a time when “natural” beauty products is becoming an increasingly crowded category, Burt’s Bees and a group of other brands have developed a certification process to help consumers differentiate what is truly “natural.”

The company’s marketing chief, Mike Indursky, told the Wall Street Journal, that the move came as a result of a study — which found that 78 percent of women believe the usage of the word “natural” was regulated by a governing body. However, Indursky says that’s not the case. So the companies worked with the Natural Products Association and other companies to develop a criteria.

The Natural Productions Association seal promises at least 95 percent of ingredients are natural or derived from natural resources

Although the seal already promises 95 percent natural ingredients, Burt’s Bees is aiming for its products to be 100 percent natural by 2011.

It is also aiming for them to be wrapped in the most environmentally sensitive packaging possible.

In May, the company 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 by as much as 40 to 60 percent.

In February, Burt’s Bees also purchased 3,954,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy credits generated by wind farms. The REC purchase helped offset 100 percent of the company’s electricity use.

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