Reckitt Benckiser's 2012 Sustainability Report Unveils Water Impact

Jun 05, 2013, 10:16 ET from Reckitt Benckiser

PARSIPPANY, N.J., June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Reckitt Benckiser (RB), a global consumer goods leader in health, hygiene and home whose portfolio includes iconic brands such as Clearasil®, Mucinex®, Lysol® and Woolite®, today unveiled its innovative water footprint measurement approach and how it helps hundreds of thousands of people to improve their health and hygiene as part of betterbusiness, its new sustainability strategy. RB's sustainability report, published today, highlights the company's environmental program and social contribution.

"Water is an increasingly critical resource around the world and it is vital to our consumers and our business," said Rakesh Kapoor, CEO, RB. "Our innovative approach to reducing our water impact demonstrates how our sustainability strategy aligns with the emphasis in our business strategy on health and hygiene and emerging markets. We are determined to grow sustainably, helping people to lead healthier lives, and we made excellent progress in 2012."

RB's sustainability strategy has three headline targets for 2020: 1/3 net revenue from more sustainable products, 1/3 reduction in water impact across the product lifecycle, 1/3 further reduction in carbon footprint across the product lifecycle. RB's partnership with Save the Children also has the ambition to stop diarrhea from being the world's biggest killer of children under five by 2020. RB's strategic priorities are health and hygiene behavior and water use.

Environmental performance

  • In 2012, RB commissioned innovative research to identify water conservation priorities – taking account of water scarcity as well as actual water usage. Focusing on scarcity means that RB needs to concentrate on the consumer use of RB's products, especially hand washing, even though raw materials account for most water use. India is the top priority geographically because it is the country with the biggest impact based on water use, scarcity and the size of RB's business there.
  • The Lysol Power & Free range – which delivers a powerful clean without leaving behind any harsh chemical residue – exceeded launch targets in the U.S. by 75 percent in revenue over the first six months. The products, inspired by Lysol's Mission for Health, are an example of innovations that will help meet RB's net revenue from more sustainable innovations target. Hydrogen peroxide, the powerful germ kill ingredient, breaks down into just water and oxygen and also has 1/3 less carbon footprint than the previous active ingredient.
  • Lysol Touch of Foam is an example of innovation that will help meet RB's water targets. It is designed so consumers only need to run water to rinse their hands, not to create the lather, saving about 15 percent of water compared with conventional hand-wash products.
  • RB continues to target reductions in carbon emissions across the product lifecycle, following RB's success in achieving the 2020 target to cut emissions per dose by 20 percent eight years early. In 2012, RB reduced emissions per dose by a further 5 percent bringing the total to 25 percent since 2007. 
  • The Carbon Disclosure Project recognized RB's commitment, naming RB as one of only 33 companies worldwide to be listed in the Global 500 Carbon Performance Leadership Index.
  • RB extended the tree planting program that makes RB's manufacturing effectively carbon neutral. The company planted 371,000 trees in 2012, bringing the total since RB began in 2006 to almost six million, offsetting 1.85 million ton of carbon dioxide so far.
  • The accident rate in RB's factories fell by 94 percent since 2001, including a 22 percent reduction in 2012.
  • Eight sites sent no manufacturing waste to landfill – 72 percent of total waste is now diverted from landfill.

Social contribution:

  • A Durex campaign in South Africa reached 100,000 students in 100 high schools with information on sexual health, while the brand donated five million condoms in more than 40 countries in support of World AIDS Day.
  • A Dettol campaign in India reached more than 14,000 school children in 65 cities with hygiene messages stressing the importance of hand washing in stopping the spread of germs.
  • Mortein, RB's insecticide brand, sponsored teams of nurses and midwives in Nigeria who provided malaria testing and advice on protection with insecticide to more than 5,000 women in 80 antenatal clinics and maternal care centers.
  • The Healthier Kids Happier Homes partnership with Save the Children reached more than 350,000 people supporting the charity's health work in over 40 countries, including Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Romania and South Korea.
  • RB donated more than $450,000 to Save the Children's emergency fund and 120,000 bars of Dettol soap to families in the Zata'ari camp in Jordan who had been made homeless by the conflict in Syria.
  • Employees helped to raise funds for the charity – and overall RB gave $5.3 million in 2012. The partnership started with just $150,000 and RB has contributed $16.5 million since then. In 2013, RB committed to contribute a further $36 million over the next three years.

*The sustainability report contains full details of performance in all areas, independently assured by Ernst & Young. The report is available at

About Reckitt Benckiser (RB):

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is a global consumer goods leader in health, hygiene and home.

With a purpose of delivering innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes, RB is in the top 25 of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. 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. Its health, hygiene and home portfolio is led by 19 global Powerbrands including Nurofen, Strepsils Gaviscon, Mucinex, Durex, Scholl, Lysol, Dettol, Clearasil, Veet, Harpic, Bang, Mortein, Finish, Vanish, Woolite, Calgon, Air Wick, and French's.  RB has close to half of its revenues coming from it 2 emerging market Areas and just over half from its developed market Area. 

RB people and its culture are at the heart of the company's success. They have an intense drive for achievement and a desire to outperform wherever they focus, including in sustainability where the company has reduced its carbon footprint by 20% in 5 years and is now targeting to deliver a 1/3 reduction in water impact, 1/3 further reduction in carbon and to have 1/3 of its net revenue coming from more sustainable products by 2020. RB has been recognized as a sustainability leader in the CDP Global 500 Carbon Performance Leadership Index and received a 2013 Sector Mover Sustainability Award in the 10th Sustainability Yearbook.  It is also the Save the Children charity's largest FMCG global partner. 

The company has operations in over 60 countries, with headquarters in the UK, Singapore, Dubai and Amsterdam, and sales in almost 200 countries. The company employs approximately 35,900 people worldwide.

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