Sustainability in Our Facilities
As part of Clorox’s IGNITE strategy ESG goals, we have committed to science-based climate action across our value-chain, 100% renewable electricity in our US and Canada operations, and zero-waste-to-landfill in our global facilities. As we pursue these goals, we will continue to drive efficiency improvements that minimize our use of energy and water and generation of waste in our global operations. This builds on progress made during Clorox’s 2020 strategy period to drive more than 20% reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy use, water use and solid waste-to-landfill in our offices, manufacturing and distribution operations.
All Clorox facilities follow a customized environmental management system (EMS) that tracks, reports and enables continuous improvement to help advance the company’s sustainability goals. The EMS also includes a task management system designed to identify and track compliance with applicable environmental regulations. Regulatory agencies —at both the federal and local level —conduct inspections regularly at all of our manufacturing facilities, focusing on the health, safety and environmental compliance of our product lines. Clorox also ensures an external or internal audit is conducted at all Clorox-owned manufacturing facilities at least once every two years, led by the company’s Global Safety and Environmental Team. And our Product Supply Organization provides employees with general environmental awareness and subject-specific training related to their roles, including annual regulatory training which is tracked in our EMS.
Since 2008, we have 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 in 2019 versus 2007*.
In our 2020 goal period, we set a goal to reduce our GHG emissions by 20% (per case of product sold) by 2020 with 2011 as our baseline. As of 2018, we reduced our GHG emissions by 33% on an intensity basis (per case of product sold versus 2011), and by 25% on an absolute basis. This represents a reduction of 189,000 metric tons of GHG emissions in 2018 versus 2011.
While we are proud of our accomplishments to-date, we know we must commit to bigger and bolder efforts to address the enormity of the climate change challenge. We believe that climate change poses a serious threat to the environment and society that requires serious action from all sectors of society. To address it, 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).
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’re committed to ensuring 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.
*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.
- 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). †
† Will set science-based targets (SBTs) for GHG emissions in coordination with and to be approved by the SBT Initiative by October 2021.
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 a 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.
Year-Over-Year GHG Emissions Reduction Performance (2011-2019)
Clorox sold its Oakland, California, offices in 2013 and discontinued its Venezuela operations in 2014. Total global GHG emissions for 2011 (the baseline year for our 2020 GHG emissions reduction goal) were recalculated to exclude GHG emissions from these facilities. Data for 2012 and 2013 were not recalculated.
Beginning in 2014, Burt’s Bees began accounting for and reporting Scope 3 transportation related emissions. While this information was not included in the 2011 base year data, inclusion of this data in 2014 results in an immaterial impact on the change in reported emissions for 2014. However, due to rounding, reporting these emissions has resulted in a 1% increase in Clorox’s overall reported GHG emissions reduction percentage in 2014. For the purposes of our 2020 reduction goal, we have revised the 2011 GHG baseline to include an estimate of Burt’s Bee’s Scope 3 transportation related emissions, based on Burt’s Bees’ revenue that year. This increases our 2011 baseline year emissions from 503,043 metric tons CO2e to 506,366 metric tons CO2e, against which 2014 and future year comparisons in our 2020 goal period will be reported. This enables us to accurately compare GHG emissions for 2014 and future years, to the 2011 baseline. We have not revised GHG emissions for 2012 and 2013.
Clorox acquired Renew Life in 2016. Total global GHG emissions for 2011 (the baseline year for our 2020 GHG emissions reduction goal) were recalculated to include estimated GHG emissions from related facilities associated with this acquisition. Data for 2012–15 were not recalculated.
In 2017, we changed our methodology for calculating Scope 3 emissions because the U.S. EPA stopped supporting the methodology we had previously adopted. Scope 3 emissions for business travel are now calculated using ‘per vehicle-mile traveled’ and ‘per passenger-mile traveled’ emissions factors from the EPA’s Center for Corporate Climate Leadership guidance, published in 2018. Emissions from finished goods transportation are calculated using ‘per ton-mile’ emission factors, according to the same guidance. In prior years, Scope 3 emissions were calculated based on fuel usage, using the EPA’s ‘btu/ton-mile’ and “GHG emissions per unit of fuel’ emission factors. For the purposes of our 2020 reduction goal, we’ve revised the 2011 GHG baseline to apply the same methodology being adopted in 2017 to the baseline year. This increases our 2011 baseline year emissions from 507,216 metric tons CO2e to 761,980 metric tons CO2e, against which 2017 and future years in our 2020 goal period will be reported. This enables us to accurately compare GHG emissions for 2017 going forward to the 2011 baseline. We have not revised GHG emissions for 2012 through 2016.
In 2018, Clorox acquired Nutranext and at the end of 2017 opened its new Atlanta West manufacturing facility. Total global GHG emissions for 2011 (the baseline year for our 2020 GHG emissions reduction goal) were recalculated to include estimated GHG emissions from related facilities associated with this acquisition and new manufacturing facility. Data for 2012–2017 were not recalculated.
Our GHG emissions data were collected by an independent third party environmental services firm with detailed knowledge of the operations and air emissions characteristics of the major Clorox manufacturing facilities. This firm utilized source data (electricity, natural gas, fuels and chemicals) to calculate associated emissions, and followed the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) standard protocols in their calculation of Clorox’s GHG emissions.
Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG Emissions Trends (2011-2019)
Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are defined as follows:
Scope 1 emissions are defined as GHG emissions as a direct result of Clorox operations and equal approximately 12% of Clorox’s total manufacturing and distribution GHG impact. We estimate that 82% of Scope 1 emissions are from carbon dioxide (CO2) and the remainder is from methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The primary source of CH4 and N2O is wood pyrolysis at charcoal plants in the U.S.
Scope 2 emissions are defined as Clorox’s indirect emissions from purchased electricity, heat and steam. About 33% of our combined manufacturing and distribution GHG footprint is from our indirect electricity use at our manufacturing plants, distribution centers and corporate office buildings. Our GHG calculations include both the amount of electricity drawn as well as the source of that electricity (e.g., coal vs. gas vs. other types of power plant fuels). Regional electric power emission factors (eGRID data) were used to compute indirect emissions. This is in conformance with the U.S. EPA Protocol and is consistent with the location-based method of the GHG Protocol. The location-based method is used for our 2011 baseline, goal setting and progress reporting. We also began efforts in 2015 to collect Scope 2 emissions in the U.S. using the market-based method as stipulated by the GHG Protocol; however, we were unable to obtain any contractual instruments or supplier specific emission rates in 2015 through 2019, and residual mix factors were not available for the markets in which Clorox operates. As a result, our 2015 through 2019 market-based Scope 2 emissions are identical to our location-based emissions in 2015 through 2019.
Scope 3 emissions are currently calculated from two sources:
Emissions associated with the distribution of our U.S. finished products by non-affiliated carriers to regional distribution centers and to retailers, account for about one half of Clorox’s combined manufacturing and distribution GHG impact. These estimates include all modes of transport (air, water, truck and rail). Scope 3 distribution emissions include travel: 1) between our production facilities; 2) from production facilities to our distribution centers; 3) from production facilities to customer distribution centers and 4) from our distribution centers to customer distribution centers.
We also include our Scope 3 emissions from business travel by our employees. This includes all air travel (domestic within the United States as well as international travel) and emissions associated with our use of rental cars.
Reportable GHG Emissions by Scope (2019)
Reportable GHG Emissions by Gas (2019)
All six recognized GHGs have been inventoried. There has been no reported use of sulfur hexafluoride and perfluorocarbons. The global warming potentials from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1996 Second Assessment Report were used for conformance with the U.S. EPA Climate Leaders Protocol.
Reportable GHG Emissions by Geography (2011-2019)
Total GHG Emissions (Reportable vs. Biogenic) (2011-2019)
Approximately 61% of our greenhouse gas emissions are actually from biogenic sources associated with the use of wood scrap as an energy source in our Kingsford® charcoal manufacturing operations. (CO2 produced in our Kingsford operations via wood pyrolysis and off-gas combustion is considered biogenic, while the CH4 and N2O emissions produced via pyrolysis and off-gas combustion are considered anthropogenic and are therefore included in Clorox’s Scope 1 reportable emissions.)
We chose to show this data even though biogenic greenhouse gas emissions (that is, from wood and other biofuels) are considered part of the natural carbon cycle, and are therefore excluded from reportable carbon-footprint calculations calculations.
GHG Emissions by Business Unit (2011-2019)
Lifestyle = Dressings and Sauces, Water Filtration, Global Natural Personal Care, Dietary Supplements
Cleaning = Laundry, Homecare, Away from Home
Household = Bags and Wraps, Charcoal, Cat Litter
Examples of GHG Reduction Efforts
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 section for details.
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 EPA’s Smart Way program. Clorox qualified to be a Smart Way Transport Partner by the use of qualified Smart Way carriers for over 95% of our truck freight miles. This is a prestigious designation for us, along the same lines as the Energy Star qualification for many of our facilities.
This designation also expanded our environmental partnership with the EPA, which also includes our membership in their Waste Wise and Safer Choice programs. We have also conducted extensive network reconfiguration and optimization of shipments occurring between our plants, co-packers, distribution centers and customers. This has helped to minimize the number of traffic lanes used and maximize the quantity of goods carried on existing lanes.
We’re committed to doing all we can to reduce our workplace energy use and commensurate GHG emissions. In recent years, we’ve reduced business travel by more than 20%. We also finalized converting employee-issued company cars to hybrids in 2011, which reduced fuel use by almost half and annual GHG emissions by about 700 metric tons when the program was introduced.
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 have earned 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
- Installed a new white reflective roof (cleaned regularly with Green Works® cleaners)
- 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 which has maintained its LEED-EB Platinum status. 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.