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Burt’s Bees Decreases Waste to Landfill by 51.5% in 2009

BurtsBeesperformanceBurt’s Bees surpassed environmental targets for 2009 versus the previous year including a 51.5 percent decrease in waste to landfill, a 15.3 percent decrease in energy use, and a 5.5 percent decrease in non-product manufacturing water, according to the company’s interim 2009 corporate responsibility update. However, process wastewater increased 3.5 percent, according to the report.

In fiscal year 2009, Burt’s Bees reduced its total electricity use by more than 21 percent despite growing its business by approximately 4 percent. Some efforts that contributed to the reduction include lower HVAC demand, installation of high-efficiency lighting in manufacturing and distribution facilities and server virtualization.

However, the company reports that some of these improvements were partially offset through construction of additional office and meeting spaces, which has resulted in higher energy consumption.

As a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program the company’s absolute emissions of Scope One and Scope Two greenhouse gases (GHG) fell 1 percent in calendar year 2008 versus calendar year 2007 while they are up 5.7 percent over the base year of 2006.

Yet, when normalized against its sales in accordance with Burt’s Bees Climate Leaders goal, the company has reduced its net normalized GHG emissions 33.5 percent versus the base year.

The company says challenges remain in meeting its 2011 GHG emission reduction goal of 35 percent per sales dollar due to expansion of its operations as of June 2009 compared to the base year of 2006. Case-in-point: Burt’s Bees fiscal year 2010 electricity usage goal is 4.5 million kilowatt-hours and the company anticipates the new administrative building will use approximately 1 million kilowatt-hours alone.

In fiscal year 2009, the company used 1.67 million gallons of water, which was 20 percent less than the previous twelve months. Its process wastewater generation held nearly steady with a 3.5 percent reduction. Both water use and process wastewater generation increased in the compounding department at the manufacturing facility due to new production vessels and related equipment, according to the update.

To offset the increase, Burt’s Bees is optimizing the new processes and is installing an industrial washer and clean-in-place systems, which will replace highly variable manual cleaning. The company is also retrofitting its relocated headquarters with water-saving fixtures such as waterless urinals, electronic water faucets and dual-flush valves for the toilets.

Some of the company’s packaging goals include converting non-paperboard/plastic displays to 100 percent recyclable materials, transitioning its plastic packaging to 100 percent recycled materials in bottles, jars and tubes, and achieving Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification, third-party certification and/or 100 percent recycled paperboard (cartons and displays).

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