Most consumers expect to make a tradeoff to be more “green,” whether they sacrifice performance, price or convenience. That’s understandable since historically, many eco-friendly products served the environment first and consumers second. Fortunately, this is changing. Here are a few recent examples of how we‘ve integrated sustainability into our products and operations to drive wins for consumers, the environment and business.
Weight has a significant impact on Kingsford® charcoals’s environmental footprint. Charcoal is heavy – so heavy that we can’t fill a truck to capacity with charcoal before hitting its weight limit. That means we leave a pretty significant carbon footprint transporting heavy pallets of charcoal in partially empty trucks.
So several years ago, we started to shed pounds by adding grooves to the charcoal briquets. The resulting charcoal was also better for consumers because it was both lighter and faster lighting. We deepened or added grooves to lighten the load two different times, and still our innovators weren’t satisfied.
In January 2015, we moved beyond grooves and started shipping a new briquet with internal air pockets that increase airflow and speed up lighting time even further. For the planet, this innovation means we can load more product onto each truck so we can send out fewer trucks, further reducing charcoal’s transportation footprint by over 1 million miles per year. That’s the equivalent of reducing carbon emissions by 12,300 metric tons. This new charcoal also uses 7 percent less raw material than our previous charcoal.
Fresh Step® Extreme Lightweight litter
In August 2014, we launched Fresh Steps Extreme Lightweight® because we realized that consumers were tired of regularly lugging home 25-pound cartons of litter. This litter is 30 percent lighter than traditional litter, making it easier to lift, carry and pour. Fresh Steps Extreme Lightweight® also offered eco-advantages including reducing raw materials used and our transportation footprint. Its base technology, a clay-coated wood, uses scrap wood that might otherwise go to landfill. The litter also incorporates natural deodorizing technologies like chlorophyll and essential oils to further improve odor control.
Packaging is another area ripe for sustainability improvements. In fact, most of our recent product sustainability improvements have come from packaging.
In November 2013, we decided to use less packaging for our Brita® water filtration pitchers, We moved from full cartons with PVC “peek-a-boo” windows to a cutaway carton design with a shrink overwrap that protects the product while letting it stand out on the shelf. The new package design reduced paperboard use by 50 percent while also eliminating the use of PVC. And now shoppers can see the actual design and size of each pitcher, helping them to choose the model that best meets their needs. As proof of the dual planet and consumer benefits, this new Brita® package has won the World Packaging Organization‘s preeminent international WorldStar award for packaging excellence.
With each of these product innovations, we have made environmental improvements that help Clorox meet sustainability goals while also providing additional value to consumers. By creating more sustainable products with no compromises, we hope to continue to prove that sustainability is good for all of us — that less really can be more.