Reckitt Benckiser has reduced its total waste generation by 12% per unit of production since 2000, but the total waste volume has increased by 49%; hazardous waste was 19% higher per unit of production in 2012 over 2011, the company said in its 2012 sustainability report.
Total waste in the year increased by 8% and hazardous waste increased by 29%. The company says continual improvement of its waste management since 2000 has reduced hazardous waste generation by 31% per unit of production.
Reckitt Benckiser says its long-term strategy is to continually reduce waste generation and improve its recycling of waste arising from its operations, especially hazardous waste.
The company created 0.011 tonnes of waste for every 1,000 CUs of production in 2012, of which 13% — or 0.0015 tonnes per 1,000 CUs — is hazardous and is disposed of in accordance with local legislative requirements. The total waste volume per unit of
production remained the same as in 2011 but hazardous waste was 19% higher per unit of production. For this year’s report, the company included all waste from its Johannesburg site, which had been removed from its 2000-2011 data due to data quality concerns.
The company acknowledges that product packaging is a visible source of waste once products have been used, and that it is focusing on optimizing its packaging. Its three-pronged approach is to reduce packaging weight, consider more sustainable materials, and increase recyclability.
The company’s three main goals in terms of sustainability do not address waste. They are: net revenue from more sustainable products, less water impact, and further reduction in its carbon footprint.