Breaking Sustainability Down Dimensionally
“Reckitt Benckiser wants to be a company that is seen by those both inside and out as making a positive economic, environmental and social contribution.
Our products improve lives by delivering better hygiene and health to millions of people every day – this is our primary purpose; by doing it efficiently and effectively we deliver strong financial returns and the social benefits associated with them. Our sustainability challenge is to tackle negative aspects of our business such as the impact our energy use has on climate change. We are making good progress here and in the next twelve months will set ourselves even more challenging goals.
What is ‘a sustainable business’? We see four dimensions of business sustainability, in line with the Business in the Community (BitC) model (www.bitc.org.uk):
• Workplace – ensuring a working environment that is safe and healthy, and employment policies and practices that attract, develop and retain the talented people required to manage and operate our business
• Marketplace – providing products that are safe and effective from a supply chain that is ethical; delivered through business practices that are legal, ethical and socially responsible
• Community – returning some of the wealth we create to those who are most in need of help; supporting health, hygiene and social development both locally and globally
• Environment – operating today with as little adverse impact on the future environment as practical, and working to continually reduce our environmental impact having had a comprehensive Corporate Responsibility Framework in place for several years now, we increasingly focus on fewer, bigger and better programs to advance our business’s sustainability. I want to mention the results in two key areas.
Progress Where It Counts
Climate Change – Since 2000 we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions from our manufacturing energy use by 22% per unit of production, and by 15% in total. This is a massive reduction. However, whilst we are very pleased with this progress within Reckitt Benckiser, we are increasingly looking at the lifecycle carbon footprint of our operations, right from the sourcing of raw and packaging materials to consumers use and disposal of our products and their packaging. We call this the Total Carbon Footprint of our business, and our objective is to reduce it by initiatives which work across the whole product lifecycle, from cradle to grave.
We are working hard to better understand and measure our Total Carbon Footprint. Within the next twelve months we shall be working with:
• Our employees, to re-engineer the way we do business to reduce carbon emissions, for example by putting more renewable energy sources in place and optimizing business travel
• Our suppliers and trade customers, to reduce carbon emissions in the total supply chain and further reduce, re-use and recycle packaging
• Our consumers, through initiatives to enable them to use our products more efficiently Meanwhile, we shall continue
to talk to our stakeholders and to work across issues such as health & safety and manufacturing standards in our own factories and the wider supply chain, to ensure a responsible and ethical business.”
Chief Executive Officer
© Copyright Amy Ullsperger, All rights Reserved. Written For: DSR Sales Support Blog