Reckitt Benckiser (RB), a global consumer goods company in health, hygiene and home whose portfolio includes brands such as Clearasil, Mucinex, Lysol, and Woolite, has unveiled its new sustainability strategy, betterbusiness. The platform focuses on addressing three major global challenges: water conservation, more sustainable health and hygiene innovations for women around the world, and further decreases of its carbon footprint.
The betterbusiness strategy aims to specifically address three major targets by 2020; to deliver a 1/3 reduction in water use, 1/3 further reduction in carbon footprint and have 1/3 of its net revenue coming from more sustainable products. To achieve these goals, RB has detailed functional targets for better design, better production and better consumer choice through its roster of brands.
"Sustaining our planet while improving the health and lives of our consumers is extremely important to our RB teams across North America," says Frederic Larmuseau, president of RB North America. "We are excited to continue implementing smarter design and developing innovative product ideas that will lead to achieving this ambitious goal."
The new strategy builds on the outstanding achievement of RB's global Carbon20 program, which led to a 21 percent improvement in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions per dose since 2007; achieved eight years ahead of its 2020 commitment. This performance was based on emissions throughout an RB product's lifecycle, from raw material sourcing to disposal, and is equivalent to taking 3 million cars off the road. Additionally, RB's Trees for Change project, which offsets greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing operations through planting trees, is responsible for planting over 5.4 million trees in Canada to date.
The implementation of betterbusiness in the United States is well under way. For example, RB recently launched Lysol Power & Free bathroom cleaner which contains hydrogen peroxide and has a one-third lower carbon footprint than the previous active ingredient. Hydrogen peroxide is also better for the environment, as it is a naturally occurring substance and breaks down to just water and oxygen. Additionally, RB's Finish brand has changed the package shape of units sold at COSTCO to be more efficient. This has led to a reduction of over 7,000 pallets, effectively taking over 200 trucks off the road and saving over 100,000 road miles by transitioning from cylindrical packaging to a box.
In addition to product innovation and development, collaboration will also be key to the strategy's success.