Since launching our IGNITE strategy in October 2019, we:
- Launched multiple projects that are projected to contribute approximately 15% of our virgin packaging reduction target, accelerating our progress against our goal of 50% combined reduction in virgin plastic and fiber packaging by 2030
- Established our baseline for our 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging goal of 74% using the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s recyclability assessment tool, which is based on the findings of their New Plastics Economy 2020 Recycling Survey and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s definition of recyclable packaging
- Signed onto the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and became a founding member of U.S. Plastics Pact
Additionally, we plan to continue supporting ongoing packaging commitments established in our 2020 strategy. These include driving the elimination of PVC packaging from our product portfolio and continuing to require all fiber-based packaging we purchase to be made from recycled or certified sustainable virgin material. In 2019, more than 99% of paper-based packaging we purchased was made from recycled or certified sustainable virgin fiber. Lastly, to help take the guesswork out of recycling for our consumers, we will continue to feature easy-to-follow recycling instructions on our U.S. retail product packaging. Nearly 90% of our U.S. retail product packaging utilizes the How2Recycle label.
Virgin Packaging Material Reduction
GOAL: 50% combined reduction in virgin plastic and fiber packaging by 2030
STATUS: Multiple projects launched in fiscal year 2020 projected to contribute approximately 15% of target
Our signature IGNITE Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) goal calls for us to reduce by 50% the virgin plastic and fiber in our packaging by 2030, measured on a per-case-of-product-sold basis versus a 2018 baseline. In 2020, we began rolling out Clorox concentrated liquid bleach, which will reduce our use of plastic and fiber packaging for this brand while delivering the same high-quality product that our consumers expect. We also converted to 100% recycled fiber cartons for Glad products in 2019.
Use of Recyclable, Reusable, Compostable Primary Packaging
GOAL: 100% recyclable, reusable, and/or compostable packaging by 2025
Since launching our IGNITE goals in 2019, we’ve established a new baseline for measuring the end-of-life of our packaging and defined key focus areas and a partnership strategy to help address the challenges associated with achieving this goal. In 2019, Clorox became a signatory to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, and in 2020 a founding member of U.S. Plastics Pact. Through these efforts, we’re engaging in collective, multi-stakeholder approaches across the plastics supply chain to find solutions to different aspects of the plastic waste challenge, including identifying ways to redesign products and business models for reusability, improving access to recycling infrastructure and increasing use of PCR plastic.
As part of these commitments, we’ve embraced innovative new business models, including the participation in TerraCycle’s Loop pilot program of Clorox disinfecting wipes in 2019, Glad food protection recyclable food bags in 2020 and Burt’s Bees facial cleanser in 2021. This program, which enables consumers to refill and reuse primary packaging, also bolsters the commitment we made when we signed on to EMF. In 2020, we also launched a concentrated Clorox cleaning spray refill pilot with a major retailer and launched a market test with Algramo to sell several products including Clorox Splash-less Bleach and Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner at three refill stations in New York City.
1. Data has been calculated using the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s recyclability assessment tool, which is based on the findings of their New Plastics Economy 2020 Recycling Survey and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s definition of recyclable packaging. Reporting is based on CY18 US sales data and is estimated to reflect global results for this metric. We believe CY18 sales data is representative of CY19 given there were no material changes in the company’s product mix during this time period.
Use of Recycled Plastic
GOAL: Double post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in packaging by 2030 (+50% by 2025)
STATUS: +10%2 in 2019 versus 2018 baseline
The rise of companies making plastic commitments and resulting demand for PCR is straining the PCR supply chain. In response, we’re engaging in multi-stakeholder partnerships to increase the availability and improve the quality of recycled plastic material required to produce recyclable packaging. The solutions we seek will do more than help us meet our IGNITE goal; they will also help the industry as a whole achieve a sustainable, circular system for packaging.
Our participation in the U.S. Plastics Pact is one way we plan to collaborate across the value chain to drive solutions that address systemic challenges in the U.S. recycling infrastructure.
Our focus on product sustainability extends beyond packaging. Each of our business units is expected to evaluate its brands and identify opportunities to drive sustainability across its end-to-end value chain, in addition to supporting the delivery of our corporate packaging and climate goals. We also assess our products for potential impacts to both human health and environmental health, evaluating biodegradation and bioaccumulation as well as impacts on septic systems, aquatic life, birds and other wildlife.
Our sustainability efforts are not just good for the environment. They’re good for business too, contributing to sales and resulting in cost savings and employee engagement.
2. Metric has been calculated based on CY19 purchases of plastic packaging for global operations, and excludes data from contract manufactured product packaging from suppliers that procure packaging materials on our behalf.