Clean world

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions represent the single most significant contributing factor to global climate change.* As such, substantial reduction of GHG emissions is crucial to address this challenge. For over a decade, Clorox has made meaningful, significant strides in this area, and we are committed to doing much more.

Between 2007 and 2019, we reduced our GHG emissions by 56% on an intensity basis (per case of product sold) and 46% on an absolute basis. This represents a reduction of 450,000 metric tons of GHG emissions.

For our 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. This represents a reduction of 189,000 metric tons of GHG emissions between 2011 and 2018.

Additionally, we are 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.

While we’re proud of our accomplishments, we recognize the necessity of bigger and bolder efforts to address the enormity of the climate change crisis. Climate change poses a serious threat to the environment and society, and fighting it requires serious action from all sectors. That’s why we are committed to measuring, transparently reporting and reducing the carbon footprint across our value chain and are working to set science-based targets for our GHG emissions through the Science-based Targets initiative (SBTi).

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).

In October 2019, we publicly committed to setting science-based targets with the SBTi. We are working in partnership with CDP Supply Chain to assess and engage our upstream supply chain to help us complete a broader assessment of our Scope 3 GHG emissions footprint as part of the science-based target-setting process. 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.

 

Year-over-year reduction of GHG emissions (2018–2019)

While we develop our science-based targets, we will continue 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. Using 2018 as a baseline, in 2019 we achieved an 11% absolute and 9% intensity (per case of product sold) reduction in GHG emissions relative to 2018. This represents a year-over-year GHG emissions reduction of 61,000 metric tons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 markedly by moving from truck to more efficient rail. On average, 30% 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. Clorox qualified to be a SmartWay Transport Partner by using qualified SmartWay carriers for over 95% of our truck freight miles.  These carriers enable Clorox to measure, benchmark, and track efforts to increase efficiency and fuel economy. This is a prestigious designation for us, akin to the Energy Star qualification many of our facilities have achieved.

This designation 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 by more than 20%.

In 2010, our corporate headquarters in Oakland, California, became one of only 38 buildings in the U.S. to have achieved platinum-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Existing Building certification (LEED-EB) – the highest environmental recognition an existing building can achieve. Built in 1976, this 24-floor skyscraper was one of the oldest buildings to achieve this environmental certification level. LEED-EB certification, administered by the U.S. Green Business Council, focuses on lowering the environmental footprint of an existing building’s operations and maintenance. Platinum certification is the highest of four certification levels the LEED program offers.

To earn this certification, Clorox made dozens of building improvements, including:

  • Replaced every plumbing fixture, toilet and urinal to reduce water consumption by over 40% (approximately 1.5 million gallons annually)
  • Replaced more than 1,700 lamps to more eco-efficient lighting
  • Made numerous efficiency improvements to the building’s heating, cooling and ventilation system — like high-efficiency boilers and water heaters
  • Moved to non-potable water for all irrigation
  • Implemented solid waste recycling and composting programs

While we sold the Oakland building in 2013, we continued to lease office space from the facility. Our 2010 LEED achievement distinguished Clorox as an environmental leader with a strong commitment to environmental stewardship.

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

Burt’s Bees® Natural Personal Care Products, a Clorox division, began offsetting its greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing carbon offsets and became a Natural Capital Partners CarbonNeutral-certified company in 2015. GHG emissions from Burt’s Bees operations are now approximately 0.5% of Clorox’s total annual GHG emissions.

* Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/greenhouse-gases#ref1

† To calculate cumulative progress since 2008, we restated the 2007 baseline in 2017 to reflect the U.S. EPA’s new methodology for calculating Scope 3 emissions. See notes of Year-Over-Year GHG Emissions Reduction Performance chart for more detail.

‡ Will set science-based targets (SBTs) for GHG emissions in coordination with and to be approved by the SBT Initiative by October 2021.

Learn More