Ecolab, a provider of cleaning, food safety and health protection products, has set a new goal to reduce global water consumption, disposed waste and effluent water in its operations by 18 percent per metric ton of shipped product from 2009 to 2015, according to the company’s 2009 Sustainability Report.
Ecolab also has committed to reducing U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20 percent per dollar sales from 2006 to 2012. U.S. GHG emissions from direct and indirect energy uses total approximately 200,000 metric tons annually. The company is expanding its GHG inventories to include emissions from global manufacturing and U.S. business travel.
To date, the company has achieved an emissions reduction of approximately 7.5 percent and is on track to meet its 2012 goal.
Here are some other report highlights. In 2009, Ecolab also implemented several strategies to improve efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of its fleet and global manufacturing locations.
For example, the company continues to add more fuel-efficient vehicles to its fleet and use less GHG-intensive fuels. Currently, the company has 811 cab/chassis trucks with 47 percent better fuel efficiency, 150 diesel cargo vans with 25 percent better fuel efficiency, 300 U.S. EPA-certified SmartWay vehicles and more than 30 hybrid vehicles.
The company also continues to develop solutions to help customers conserve water and energy, and reduce waste. As an example, by eliminating redundant wash cycles and over-drying, Ecolab service can save a customer 137,000 gallons of water and 1,100 therms of energy annually. The company reports annual water savings of 3,960,000 gallons.
The company’s corporate research, development and engineering facilities on the Allan L. Schuman Campus in Eagan, Minn., achieved the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED-EB) gold certification.
Ecolab is also working to reduce its packaging. In 2009, the company launched a new corrugated display tray for 12 of its 14 products, which reduces the amount of paper used by more than 460,000 pounds.
In addition, its super concentrated products use less plastic packaging to deliver the same amount of solution as less concentrated products. As an example, the 2-liter pouches of its Oasis Pro housekeeping line of products reduce plastic waste by 98 percent compared with 1-gallon concentrates, generating 86 percent lower emissions when transported.
The company has diverted 262 tons of plastics from landfills.
To further reduce waste, Ecolab offers a complimentary drum recycling program for its contiguous U.S. customers. During a recent twelve-month period, more than 186,000 drums were recycled by its customers, reducing Ecolab’s need for nearly 3 million pounds of virgin resin.