RB exceeds waste reductions targets as emissions lag

Health and hygiene company RB, which owns brands including Durex, Calgon and Gaviscon, has revealed it has reached its waste management goals five years early, although improvement on carbon reductions is still needed.

The company’s latest Sustainability Report revealed that it reduced waste by 14% against a 2012 baseline, surpassing its 2020 goal of a 10% reduction. RB – formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser – also looks set to hit a zero-waste to landfill status by 2020, with latest figures revealing that 89% of its facilities are operating within that criteria.

But with a 2020 target to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2020, RB needs to accelerate efforts after reducing emissions by 14% over the last three years. In total emissions per unit of production was reduced by 7.3%.

Other notable figures from the report saw energy consumption reduced by 4.1% to 16% – still short of the 35% target for 2020 – and water consumption per unit of production, which was reduced by 6% – just 5% short from its 2020 target of 35%.

RB’s chief executive officer Rakesh Kapoor said: “The fact that we have met certain 2020 sustainability goals five years earlier than planned is excellent news. It demonstrates that our people believe that our better business strategy is necessary to deliver positive change and superior value to all of our stakeholders.

“There are areas where we can improve, and so we remain committed to challenging ourselves to making an even bigger difference and to building a world where people have healthier lives and happier homes.”

The carbon output of products has remained broadly unchanged since 2012 with an increase of 1% during the three-year period. While RB made good progress in areas such as manufacturing and packaging, it has failed to see a material reduction in emissions associated with consumer use.

In 2015, RB showed a commitment to responsibly sourcing all natural raw materials, with 70% of the company’s palm oil use now traceable to mill production.


Despite the mixed bag of results in its Sustainability Report – which was also evident in previous reports – RB has remained dedicated in its commitment to developing innovative products and technologies that require less energy and produce fewer emissions.

The company recently installed a 2.5 MW roof-mounted solar PV system at its Belle Mead facility in New Jersey USA that supplements the daily requirement of the site and will eliminate 1,500 tonnes of C02 emissions annually.

Additionally, the RB Chartres site in France implemented a heat exchange system for pre-heating purified water used in mixers, resulted in savings of 450 MWh.

In 2015, the firm was named as the top UK representative in the 11th annual Global 100 Index. The index, which ranks the top 100 most sustainable corporations in the world, placed RB in seventh, ahead of ten other UK companies.

George Ogleby

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