These are the topline results in the company’s latest sustainability report, 2013, which highlights the investment the company has made in two 415 foot tall wind turbines at its global manufacturing facility which will produce eight million kWh of electricity, and help make the site essentially ‘off grid’.

Seven sites are now considered ‘zero landfill’ (without the use of incineration), with 10 other sites diverting 90% of their waste from landfill.

Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson said the company’s strategy focuses on finding ways to minimise landfill waste, managing its footprint through greenhouse gas reductions and continuing to improve its product chemistry.

“We are constantly challenging ourselves to find ways to reduce our environmental footprint while continuing to produce the high-quality products that consumers expect and deserve,” he explained.

This has led to some significant innovations in the past year. For instance, the introduction of the ‘Smart Twist’ cleaning system – a reusable sprayer for cleaning products that uses concentrated refills. The sprayers require 63% less plastic. Mr Muscle packaging has also been lightweighted saving 900,000 pounds (408,000kg) of resin.

These are just two of 10 new SKU’s launched in 2012/13 aimed at helping consumers reduce the waste sent to landfill. These lines are promoted through the company’s Green Choices Marketplace – a one-stop shop for products that offer environmental benefits – that shows consumers how to reduce their environmental impact through the products they buy.

Internally, SC Johnson also its ‘Greenlist’, an environmental classification process to help its scientists select ingredients for new or reformulated products. Products are rated as ‘best’, ‘better’ or ‘good’. There is also ‘0-rated’ for materials that can be used only in special circumstances. Since 2001, better or best ingredient use has increased from 18% to 44%.

The scores for the past year are “down somewhat from prior years”, the company admitted, in part due to a recalibration. In 2011/12, the score for high density polythene was changed in error, but this has since been corrected. Products have also been acquired from other companies and these are being reformulated to bring them “up to our standards”, the report reads. The process is reviewed continuously to ensure that it remains “robust and meaningful”.

SC Johnson is working toward a target of 33% renewable energy globally by 2016. For greenhouse gas reductions, by 2016 it is aiming to reduce emissions from its global manufacturing sites by 48% versus 2000 (indexed to production). By 2016 it also aims to become landfill neutral.

Read a full interview with SC Johnson chief sustainability officer Kelly M. Semrau here.

edie staff

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