Climate Counts

We’ve had some good news on the sustainability rating front.

Clorox scored 77 out of 100 on the just released 2012 Climate Counts scorecard. The Climate Counts rating focuses on management of GHG emissions.  Specifically, Climate Counts measures how robust our GHG reporting is, how effective we have been in reducing our GHG footprint, our GHG reduction policies, and the completeness of our GHG reporting.

Our 77 score represents an improvement of 10 points versus last year.  Seven of these points came from an improvement in our Reduce GHG score, which is all about the continued good work of our manufacturing and logistics organizations.

Since 2007, we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent. As part of this effort, we have replaced virtually every light in our U.S. plants (close to 100,000 lamps) withmore energy efficient T5 and T8 lighting, moved more than 30 percent of our finished-goods shipment miles from trucks to more eco-efficient rail, and migrated to more efficient EPA-designated SmartWay® carriers for 95 percent of our remaining truck miles. We have also focused on reducing the weight of our packaging. For example, we’ve moved from heavy plastic pails to boxes and bags in our cat litter business, concentrated products like Clorox® bleach and Clorox® 2 stain remover, and, in El Salvador and Guatemala, shifted Poett cleaners to pouches that use one-sixth the resin of a bottle.

For perspective, here’s our Climate Counts scores since 2007:

  • 2012:   77
  • 2011:   67
  • 2010:   57
  • 2009:  27
  • 2008:  15
  • 2007:   1

Our wake-up call

Our 2007 score was one of the wake-up calls that we needed as a company to publicly report and actively manage our GHG emissions footprint. We studied the sustainability space, constructed a corporate-wide sustainability strategy, and created a dedicated group— the Eco Office — to help execute this strategy.

As we began to report on our GHG footprint and disclose our intent to reduce our GHG emissions, our Climate Counts score, as well as other external sustainability ratings began to rise accordingly. We then expanded our reporting and set a public policy statement about our belief in climate warming and the need to do our part in reducing our climate impact.

Our scores have continued to climb as we have reduced our GHG impact, and we are now at a place that reflects our active management of this area with future improvements expected as we strive to meet our long-term objective to become a sustainability exemplar.

What’s next?

While much of the low hanging fruit is behind us, we are committed to continue reducing our fuel and energy use via further conservation measures, eco-efficiency initiatives, and, eventually, renewable energy investment. We also plan to begin to engage our first-tier suppliers to help them become more sustainable as well.

We’ll continue to provide updates as we continue down this path.

Written by Bill Morrissey, who previously served as vice president of Sustainability for Clorox.