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Lysol, Woolite Maker Halfway to Carbon Target

Household and cosmetic product manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser (RB) has announced it is more than halfway to its 2020 carbon reduction goal, only two years after setting the target.

RB said last year it reduced its CO2 emissions by 3 million tons, or 11 percent per unit dose, across its products’ lifecycle. This is equivalent to taking almost one million cars off the road, RB said.

The manufacturer aims to reduce its products’ impact on climate change by 20 percent by 2020.

The lifecycle carbon output RB targets includes production and travel as well as emissions embedded in raw materials and packaging, and in customer use and disposal.

The biggest single contributor to the carbon output of RB’s products is consumer use, accounting for 70 percent of emissions, the company said. Many of the company’s products  are used in machines such as dishwashers or washing machines.

Raw materials and packaging account for another 21 percent of emissions, RB said.

The company’s carbon-reduction efforts have included an online campaign encouraging customers to use cooler water in their dishwashers, working with suppliers to re-engineer packaging and distribution, redesigning RB products to use fewer materials, and moving several factories to combined heat and power systems.

The company has installed solar powered lighting and water heating, which it says has reduced factories’ carbon impact by 20 percent over the past eight years.

It says that carbon offsetting does not count towards the 2020 goal. The company has its own carbon offset project called Trees for Change.

Last year RB announced it had reduced its carbon output by 5.75 percent.

RB developed its carbon measurement system with environmental consultancy URS, and says the system is in line with the British Standard Institute’s carbon footprinting specification PAS 2050:2008.

RB sells about 6 billion items a year, including products under the Clearasil, Lysol, Finish, Calgon and Woolite brands.

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