Clean world

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change poses a serious threat to the health and well-being people and the planet. We’ve been focused on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for over a decade to do our part to address this existential challenge.  While we’re proud of our accomplishments, we recognize the necessity for bigger and bolder actions, which is why we have committed to measuring, transparently reporting and reducing our carbon footprint across our value chain – starting with 2030 science-based targets and ultimately committing to net zero GHG emissions by 2050. Making this vision a reality will require innovative thinking and sustained focus, but we are up to the challenge and our dedication is unwavering.

Our goals

Our goals

  • Set and achieve science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in our operations (scope 1 and 2) and across our value chain (scope 3).
    • Reduce absolute scopes 1 and 2 GHG emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2020 baseline
    • Reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services and use of sold products 25% by 2030 from a 2020 baseline*
  • Achieve net zero GHG emissions across scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2050
*For our science-based targets, we’re focusing on different scope 3 categories for our reduction efforts than in our previous goal periods. These include Category 1, Purchased Goods and Services and Category 11, Use of Sold Products (Direct). In prior goal periods, we defined scope 3 to include Category 4, U.S. Finished Goods Distribution and Category 6, Employee Business Travel. Categories are defined by the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard.

For our last 2020 goal period, we targeted a reduction of our GHG emissions by 20% (per case of product sold), using 2011 as our baseline. We achieved this goal ahead of target, reducing our GHG emissions by 33% on an intensity basis (per case of product sold), and by 25% on an absolute basis, all by 2018, when we closed out this goal period. This represents a reduction of 189,000 metric tons of GHG emissions between 2011 and 2018.

In October 2019, we publicly committed to setting science-based targets across our supply chain with the SBTi. The SBTi has approved our targets for scopes 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions. The ambitious targets covering emissions from company operations (scopes 1 and 2) are consistent with reductions required to keep warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The goal of the Paris Climate Agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C. As a company, it was important to align our operational emissions target to the more ambitious level.

In October 2019, we publicly committed to setting science-based targets across our supply chain with the SBTi. The SBTi has approved our targets for scopes 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions. The ambitious targets covering emissions from company operations (scopes 1 and 2) are consistent with reductions required to keep warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The goal of the Paris Climate Agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C. As a company, it was important to align our operational emissions target to the more ambitious level.

Recognizing the importance of transparently disclosing our climate efforts to stakeholders, we are applying the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework to communicate our approach to climate governance, strategy, and risk management, which can be found in our integrated annual report.

We are also committed to reducing emissions of particulate matter, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulfur oxide (SOx) and nitrous oxide (NOx) and are diligent about reducing, reusing and recycling fluorinated gases, or F-gases. Wherever required by federal, state or local regulations, we ensure our facilities are compliant with our air permits that limit the use of VOCs, SOx and NOx and to public reporting of that data to relevant government agencies.

In addition to reducing our own emissions, we also lend our voice to call for change at a broader level. In 2020, Clorox — along with our Burt’s Bees brand — signed on to America Is All In, a statement endorsed by more than 1,000 businesses, government entities, universities and other institutions, to show support the for ambitious commitments to tackle the global climate crisis and for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. As a signatory, we underscore our commitment to drive economic growth through job creating, sustainable investments and to do so in a manner that addresses systemic inequalities and ensures everyone benefits from the transition to climate resiliency. We also signed onto the Energy Buyer Federal Clean Energy policy statement along with more than 30 other corporations, calling for a 100% clean energy power sector.

 

Year-over-year reduction of GHG emissions (2018–2020)

While we developed our science-based targets against a 2020 baseline, we have continued to report our annual GHG emissions using the same approach we applied in our prior goal period. This includes third-party independent assurance of our global scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, as well as scope 3 GHG emissions associated with the distribution of our U.S. finished products and business travel by our employees. Our absolute GHG emissions increased by 6% between our 2018 baseline and 2020 due to increased production in response to the COVID pandemic; however, our plants were able to drive efficiencies and reduce GHG emissions by 11% per case of product sold over this same timeframe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy efficiency

We have focused on energy efficiency to reduce greenhouse emissions associated with energy used in our manufacturing, distribution and R&D facilities, as well as in our offices. These efforts have reduced our energy costs and consumption. For more details, visit our Energy webpage for details.

Distribution efficiency

We have increased the environmental efficiency of our finished product distribution by moving from truck to more efficient rail. On average, 25% of Clorox finished goods distribution miles are by rail.

Through the 2020 goal period (as well as in our current IGNITE period) Clorox has been a Transport Partner of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay program, using qualified SmartWay carriers for over 60% of our truck freight miles.  These carriers enable Clorox to measure, benchmark, and track efforts to increase efficiency and fuel economy.

This program expanded our environmental partnership with the EPA, which includes our membership in their WasteWise and Safer Choice programs. We’ve also conducted extensive network reconfiguration and optimization of shipments between our plants, co-packers, distribution centers and customers.

Workplace initiatives

We’re committed to reducing our workplace energy use and commensurate GHG emissions. In recent years, we’ve reduced business travel. During our prior goal period (2011-2018), our business travel mileage (vehicle miles plus air-passenger miles) dropped by more than 15%, with a 30% reduction in GHG emissions due to both travel reduction and lower emissions factors. In 2020, primarily due to COVID travel limitations, our GHG emissions associated with business travel dropped by over 80% relative to our more recent 2018 baseline.

Despite the pandemic, we needed to continue critical environmental compliance work across our manufacturing operations, so we revamped our compliance audit process using existing tools and technology to allow for work to proceed remotely. Relying on cloud storage technology as the repository for compliance documentation that was accessible by remote audit teams, we used smart glasses and smart phones to observe local site conditions in areas of particular environmental interest to execute internal and third-party compliance audits with no travel. This transformative digital approach is expected to continue selectively post-pandemic, enabling the team to keep reducing costs and emissions associated with travel to our plants.

Renewable energy sources: Kingsford

Kingsford® retort furnaces convert renewable wood scrap to make char. Much of the heat generated from this process is, in turn, used to dry waste wood raw material as well as finished charcoal briquets, and to power steam boilers that are used for other Kingsford manufacturing operations, thereby reducing use of fossil-fueled electricity these plants need to pull from the grid.

Renewable energy credits and carbon offsets

As part of its 2025 vision, Burt’s Bees® Natural Personal Care Products, a Clorox division, joined Ceres Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy Network and The Climate Collaborative. The business will also continue to be CarbonNeutral®-certified, building on a commitment since to offset carbon emissions, including emissions from its facilities, transportation of raw materials and finished products, and employee travel. GHG emissions from Burt’s Bees operations are now approximately 0.6% of Clorox’s total annual scopes 1 and 2 GHG emissions.

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