SC Johnson, maker of a variety of household products that include Glade, Drano and Scrubbing Bubbles, says in its latest sustainability report that it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 27 percent at its worldwide factories over the last eight years.
In the U.S., the Racine, WI, company reported a 17 percent reduction in GHG emissions since 2005. Both reduction numbers “have been met three years ahead of the company’s internal 2011 target,” it says in its 2009 Public Report, titled Responsibility=Resilience.
Those reductions are the equivalent of taking about 11,100 U.S. cars off the road for one year, the report says.
The 2009 Public Report is SC Johnson’s 18th year of reporting on sustainability objectives.
It reveals that SC Johnson is closing in on another major goal, to reduce combined air emissions, water effluents and solid waste by 50 percent by 2011. Last year it reduced waste and emissions by 40.5 percent, compared to a 2000 baseline.
The company is using purchased renewable energy for 34 percent of its energy needs, and it continues to increase the use of more fuel-efficient intermodal rail for shipping products, instead of trucking.
The company report adds it is increasing its transparency. It is committed to “doing what’s right with the voluntary launch of an innovative ingredient disclosure initiative which openly communicates product ingredients, including fragrances, dyes and preservatives.”
Along with revealing the GHG reductions and the ingredient initiative, the report discloses its “base of the pyramid partnerships” and more than $180 million in philanthropic contributions over the past 10 years.
In the report, Fisk Johnson, the company’s Chairman and CEO, says the challenging global economy and the demands of the world’s growing population raise “important choices” for companies like SC Johnson.
“Some predictions indicate that at current consumption rates, we will simply run out of natural resources in 40 years,” Johnson says. “How do we weather economic storms while doing what’s right for the environment? What new sustainability approaches can we discover that would allow the faster progress needed to head off a global resource crunch? How do we ensure that combine resilience with responsibility?”
Incremental progress is not enough, he continues. “After a while a company gets to a point of diminishing returns if the focus is simply incremental improvements in efficiency.” More creative methods are needed to make a significant difference, he continues.
He says that SC Johnson now powers its largest global factory, Waxdale, with cogeneration using methane gas from a local public landfill. The company factory in Michigan has replaced one-half of its annual purchase of coal-fired electricity with wind power. “In Indonesia, we now burn waste palm shells for fuel, requiring 80 percent less diesel fuel that we did two years ago.”
That’s how a company can achieve a significant reduction in GHG emissions in a short period of time. Johnson says his company is going after “disruptive innovation – innovation that helps us leap forward sustainably and successfully, rather than incrementally.”
One CSR on the shelf that’s worth a read.