Reckitt Benckiser sustainability report shows reduction in carbon footprint

By Pooja Kondhia

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Carbon dioxide

Reckitt Benckiser’s sustainability report for 2010 has shown the company has reduced its carbon footprint with decreased energy consumption in manufacturing playing a part.

The manufacturer of personal care products such as Clearasil, Scholl and Veet, reports the fact that since 2007, the company’s carbon footprint was reduced by 15 percent.

The self-set goal was undertaken in 2007 to reduce total carbon footprint by 20 percent by the year 2020, an average decrease of 1.5 percent each year. In line with this, Reckitt Benckiser has reached three quarters of its goal in three years.

Additionally, a breakdown of the total supply chain in the report indicated that product manufacturing contributed to just 1.5 percent of the company’s total carbon footprint.

Energy use reduction

The company put its reduction in carbon footprint down to operation efficiencies in areas that included manufacturing in turn reducing environmental impact through lower energy use per unit.

Between the years 2000-10, the company reported a 39 percent reduction in energy consumption, thanks to initiatives such as those implemented in its Colombian site (South America), including improving machine efficiency, insulating pipes and using natural light where possible.

Reckitt Benckiser’s Canadian facility also made savings of 37 percent per unit of production by reducing heat output in warehouse areas.

A reduction of 45 percent in greenhouse gases from manufacturing sites per unit of production was also noted between the same ten-year period.

Further greenhouse gas savings to reduce the company’s overall carbon footprint included seven sites using certified ‘green’ energy like hydroelectricity or solar power.

High carbon fuels such as coal and furnace oils were replaced with biomass at sites in India and Indonesia, the company claims.

Energy consumption shortfalls

In comparison, P&G’s sustainability report highlighted reduced energy consumption by 16 percent indicating it is on track to reach its goal of a 20 percent reduction over a period of five years with one year to go.

Likewise, over the course of the last decade, energy consumption was reduced by 50 percent.

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