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Clorox Integrated Report Shows Progress on Energy, GHGs, Water, Waste

Clorox has released its first integrated financial, environmental, social and governance report, which shows that energy consumption fell from 1.81 to 1.78 MWh per 1,000 cases last year, a 1.6 percent drop.

Energy use fell from 764,000 to 743,000 MWh last year on an absolute basis. Since 2007 the company has reduced energy use by 7 percent, on its way to a goal of a 10 percent reduction by 2013.

The 2011 annual report shows not only energy consumption, but also GHG emissions, water use and solid waste all falling on both relative and absolute measures from 2009 to 2010. And the company says that halfway through its six-year goal period, it is on track to exceed all goals in these areas.

From 2009 to 2010, GHGs fell from 1.29 to 1.22 metric tons per 1,000 cases, and from 559,000 to 527,000 metric tons on an absolute basis. In the past three years Clorox says it has reduced GHGs by 13 percent, already surpassing a goal of a 10 percent reduction per case of product sold by 2013.

Its efforts have included reducing the footprint of finished-goods shipments by moving 30 percent of shipment miles from trucks to rail and by using more efficient EPA-designated SmartWay carriers for 95 percent of its remaining truck miles. Lighter-weight products also played a role, the company says.

The company also says it has invested in eco-efficient lighting at all its North American manufacturing and distribution facilities.

Water consumption fell from 2.26 to 2.12 gallons per case in 2010, and from 954 to 885 gallons on an absolute basis. Since 2007 Clorox has reduced water use by 14%, exceeding a 10% by 2013 goal. The company says that in FY 2011, it made further investments in its water recycling infrastructure, while also making changes to plant-level water management practices.

Last year its solid waste output fell from 29.1 to 27.2 tons per million cases, and from 12,279 to 11,379 tons on an absolute basis. Seven major sites held “dumpster dives,” which the company says raised awareness and reduced the amount of waste going to the landfill by more than half, on average, at each site. It also began using third-party intermediaries to help it find recycling opportunities for materials formerly sent to landfills.

Clorox’s Oakland, Calif., office is now diverting more than 70 percent of its waste from landfills, up from about 50 percent in 2010, en route to a long-term goal of 90 percent diversion. Since 2007 the overall company has reduced solid waste to landfill by 15 percent (on a per-case-shipped basis), en route to a goal of 20 percent by 2013.

Also last year, Clorox says its three Burt’s Bees facilities became the first zero-waste-to-landfill sites in the company network. These facilities have committed to reduce, reuse, recycle or compost at least 90 percent of their waste streams, and ensure no commonly recycled items such as paper, plastic, corrugate or aluminum are in the remaining waste.

They also agreed to send the remaining 10 percent or less of waste to a waste-to-energy facility.

The company says it is innovating to reduce waste from its Glad brand trash bags by finding new ways to use 6.5 percent less plastic in the product while making the bags stronger. The brand also has plans to reduce the amount of source material used for product packaging.

The report said that in FY 2011, Clorox also:

  • Embedded sustainability criteria into product development, supplier selection, customer planning and manufacturing plant management processes
  • Established robust recycling programs at 25 major work sites.
  • Obtained platinum-level LEED-EB certification for our general office.

The integrated report is divided into five sections: performance, products, people, planet and purpose. Explaining the decision to move to integrated reporting, the report says,

At Clorox, our financial performance and our ongoing commitment to corporate responsibility (CR) go hand in hand. That’s why we have taken the important step to integrate our financial, environmental, social and governance performance in one report. Our success in each of these areas matters to our stockholders and a range of other stakeholders, including employees, consumers, customers, government and nongovernment organizations, business partners and our communities.

The company uses the Global Reporting Initiative G3.1 Guidelines and is reporting at a GRI-checked application level of B+.

Clorox says it is one of only 11 companies from the S&P 500 included in the Carbon Disclosure Project 2011 Performance Leadership Index, which highlights companies committed to long-term greenhouse gas emissions.

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