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Clorox CR Report: On Track to Cut GHG Emissions, Energy, Water Use 10% by 2013

Clorox is on track to meet or exceed its environmental goals for 2013, according to the company’s first corporate responsibility report (PDF). Since 2007, the household products manufacturer has reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 7 percent, energy use by nearly 5 percent, water use by more than 8 percent and solid waste by 9 percent (per case sold).

Clorox has pledged to reduce its GHG emissions, energy use and water consumption 10 percent per case of product sold from 2007 to 2013. It also is committed to reduce solid waste by 20 percent over the same time period.

The company attributes its cuts in GHG emissions and energy use to retrofitting 22 of its manufacturing plants, distribution facilities and major offices with energy efficient T5/T8 lighting and motion sensors. Clorox is also moving 30 percent of its product distribution from trucking to more efficient intermodal rail.

Clorox is also monitoring and working to minimize other gas emissions, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Clorox attributes its reduction in water use to several initiatives including water recycling, upgraded equipment and the replacement of water-cooled with air-cooled compressor systems. As an example, two of its Kingsford charcoal plants have each reduced water consumption by more than 30 percent.

The company is also halfway to meeting its goal of making sustainability improvements to 25 percent of its product portfolio by 2013, using 2009 as a baseline. Clorox expects it will need to make improvements to more than 300 products to meet this goal.

Clorox says many of its brands have already made the switch to more sustainable packaging. As examples, 90 percent of its product cartons use 100 percent recycled material, and 85 percent of its packaging is recyclable. In addition, nearly all of its U.S. retail display materials are made from 100 percent post-consumer waste.

In addition, the company has reduced the plastic in its Clorox regular bleach bottles by more than 5 million pounds annually, and Burt’s Bees lip balm and lip shimmer products removed plastic wrapping to save more than 1,800 miles of shrink-wrap film annually.

As a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Clorox’s packaging goals by 2013 include reducing the packaging on more than one-third of its product portfolio (from 2005 to 2013), having at least 90 percent of all its products in recyclable primary packaging (versus 85 percent currently), and identifying alternatives to PVC for all packaging.

Other environmental performance highlights include developing sustainability programs in the workplace, switching company cars to hybrids and earning the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-EB platinum certification for its corporate office.

In September, Clorox debuted its new corporate logo that the company says better reflects the corporate brand with its focus on sustainability.

Earlier this year, Clorox launched a new Web site that details ingredients for more than 230 cleaning, disinfecting and auto care products. The company launched its Green Works line in Dec. 2007, and last year became the top-selling line of natural cleaners with a 42 percent market share.

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