Reckitt Benckiser Releases 2010 Sustainability Report

75% of target for Carbon 20 program achieved far ahead of schedule

15% reduction in total carbon footprint in year 3 of Carbon 20 program

100% non-PVC packaging for household products

3% further reduction in accident rate

Partnered with Save the Children to save 150,000 children's lives

Oct 06, 2011, 09:57 ET from Reckitt Benckiser

PARSIPPANY, N.J., Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Reckitt Benckiser (RB) plc, a world leader in household, health and personal care (with U.S. headquarters in Parsippany, NJ) and parent of Clearasil, Lysol, Durex, Woolite and other iconic brands, today released its 2010 Sustainability Report (available at  The report, along with its associated data, details RB's major sustainability improvements, and is independently assured by PwC.

In its 2010 sustainability report, RB highlighted a major milestone in carbon footprint reduction: the company has achieved 75% of its Carbon 20 program goal, a self-imposed quest to reduce its own carbon footprint by 20% by 2020.  Launched in 2007, the Carbon 20 approach goes beyond simply targeting the easy wins of energy reduction in RB factories and travel.  It targets reductions in the much larger carbon emissions embedded in raw and packaging materials from suppliers, as well as in consumers' use and disposal of RB's products.  Carbon 20 also targets the climate change impact of the products' overall lifecycles.  

The report also shows how RB has been able to achieve a 100% non-PVC packaging for all its household products which include Powerbrands such as Finish, Vanish, Lysol, Harpic and Air Wick.  The report also details the steps RB is taking to reduce the use of more precious natural resources and eliminate waste.  

RB also provides an overview of how it creates a rewarding employment experience marked by responsible business conduct and conditions.  This includes the company's health and safety performance, where the company said that its accident rate has improved a further 3% from what was already a low level of accidents by industry standards.

As for RB's global charitable work, the report shows that by funding programs with "Save the Children", RB has enabled the charity to do enough work to save approximately 150,000 children's lives directly, and helped numerous families in the process.  Programs have been funded in Brazil, Angola, Tanzania and India; as well as in deprived areas of developed countries such as the US and UK.  Additionally, RB has provided emergency funds and product donations to help children survive the weather-induced emergencies that have hit communities around the world.  Further, in 2010, RB launched a campaign called "Million Brighter Futures" — a partnership with Save the Children that aims to raise approximately $16 million by 2015 to support the charity's global work.

Rakesh Kapoor, Chief Executive Officer of Reckitt Benckiser plc, remarked: "Focusing on sustainability is right for our business, right for our industry, and right for society.  We set ambitious targets for ourselves, and I am pleased that we are on-track to exceed them.  RB's strategy has always been to grow our business – thus benefitting consumers, customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders – while simultaneously reducing negative impacts, especially on the environment.  I am proud of our performance to date, and I know we will continue to improve."

About RB

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is a world leader in household, health and personal care.  
It is a FTSE top 25 company and since 2000 net revenues have doubled and market cap has quadrupled.  Today it is the global No 1 or No 2 in the majority of its fast-growing categories, driven by an exceptional rate of innovation – typically about a third of net revenue comes from innovations launched in the prior 3 years. It has a strong portfolio led by 19 global powerbrands which are: Finish, Lysol, Dettol, Vanish, Woolite, Durex, Calgon, Airwick, Harpic, Bang, Mortein, Veet, Nurofen, Clearasil, Strepsils Gaviscon, Mucinex, Scholl and French's, and they account for 69% of  net revenue.

RB people are at the heart of the company's success. They have an intense drive for progress and action and a desire to outperform wherever they focus, including in CSR where the company has the most ambitious corporate responsibility programme in the industry through its Carbon 20 initiative.

Headquartered in the United Kingdom, the company employs about 27,000 people worldwide, with operations in over 60 countries and sales in almost 200 countries.

For more information visit RB.COM.

Major contributors to the success of Carbon20 have been programs to:

  • Educate and enable consumers to reduce energy consumption in the home when using RB products. For example, the Our Home Our Planet program is an on-package and online campaign giving consumers guidance on how to use products in a more green way.
  • Cooperation with suppliers and trade customers to reengineer the making, packaging, distributing and selling of products to reduce or avoid energy use.
  • Redesigning products to use fewer materials, less energy, less packaging and less waste.
  • Moving a number of factories and plants to combined heat and power energy systems, as well as installing solar powered lighting and water heating, enabling the company to reduce its factories' carbon impact by 25 percent in absolute terms since 2000.

Offsetting not included
In contrast to some other companies' approaches, carbon offsetting - including the company's own ongoing carbon offset project Trees for Change ( - is NOT counted towards the Carbon20 target.

Rationale for the Program
Carbon20 builds on the substantial progress RB has already made in reducing its direct carbon emissions and represents a radical step in its commitment and contribution to a greener planet.

The company believes that by being ambitious and innovative in addressing climate change, there are clear business benefits, as well as social and environmental benefits, such as:

  • Consumers want to buy products with lower carbon profiles, provided they do not compromise on quality or performance, and will reward companies that address climate change seriously and realistically
  • Retailers want to help consumers in reducing carbon emissions, want to address their own carbon profiles and want to work with companies that help them address these objectives
  • Suppliers want to work with responsible businesses, and are also seeking to reduce their impact on climate change
  • People want to work for a company that acts responsibly in addressing major social and environmental concerns. A real and effective program to address climate change increases employee engagement with the company and will help to attract and recruit future talent
  • Government and regulators both need and want businesses to address climate change in order to help society achieve carbon reduction

Measurement and verification
RB's measurement system has been developed in conjunction with environmental consultancy, URS and is in line with the British Standard Institute's carbon footprinting specification PAS 2050: 2008. The Carbon20 methodology was externally verified by Deloitte LLP and the most recent updates have been reviewed by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

RB's track record on sustainability
RB has made good progress on reducing its overall environmental impact for several years and has had a particular emphasis on climate change since 2000.

Achievements since 2000 include:

  • Energy use has been reduced by 39% per consumer unit (16% in absolute terms)
  • CO2 equivalent in manufacturing energy reduced by 45% per consumer unit (25% in absolute)
  • Wastewater discharges have been reduced by 30% per consumer unit (3% in absolute terms)
  • Hazardous waste has been reduced by 34% per consumer unit
  • We have been reviewing ingredients for the past ten years and continue a range of Ingredient removal programs above and beyond regulatory requirements
  • RB's own carbon offsetting program is currently planting over 5 million trees in 42 square kilometers of deforested land in Canada, offsetting emissions, making it a carbon neutral manufacturer
  • We have committed to the A.I.S.E. Air Fresheners Product Stewardship Programme, a voluntary industry initiative established in October 2007
  • RB is a member of Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change (CLG), Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and AIM-Progress (A Forum of consumer goods companies, working together to enable and promote responsible sourcing and sustainable production)

RB is intent on delivering its products in a sustainable and responsible way. For further details about sustainability performance, go to, which features the 2010 Sustainability Report.

Sabrina Michaeli
Porter Novelli

SOURCE Reckitt Benckiser