Colgate reduced energy use per unit of production by over 21% from 2002 to 2009. Click to enlarge
Our emphasis on energy efficiency improvements has provided an opportunity to generate costs savings and to reduce our CO2 emissions. While Colgate is not an energy-intensive company, we are still working hard to improve energy efficiency all around the globe to do our part in conserving electricity, natural gas and fuel oil. We carefully measure and manage energy consumption at our manufacturing facilities and R&D sites. At these sites from 2002 through 2009, we reduced the amount of energy to produce at on of product by over 21%. Our 2002 to 2010 target is to attain a 25% reduction of energy use per unit of production. We continue to strive to reduce our energy use on an absolute basis even as our business grows.
Some of our energy reduction efforts include:
Colgate is in the process of assessing and retrofitting many of our office, manufacturing and warehouse facilities with energy-efficient lighting and control technologies. In 2008, we developed energy-efficient lighting guidelines for our global facilities that require sites to complete a lighting assessment survey, develop lighting improvement plans and budget for and implement appropriate retrofit projects. We developed a global lighting tracking database to measure our progress in reaching our lighting goal.
Several of Colgate’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities have been awarded LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (link). LEED is an independent, third-party verification system designed to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being.
Our new soap manufacturing plant in Thailand was awarded LEED Silver certification in 2009, and two U.S. facilities were certified in 2008 and 2009. More facilities are currently pursuing LEED certification:
- Our oral care plant in Poland
- Our Global Technology Center in the U.S.
- Our toothbrush factories in China and Vietnam
- Our Hill’s manufacturing sites in the U.S. and the Czech Republic
Several other Colgate facilities currently are pursuing LEED certification. Colgate uses LEED as a guidance tool and has developed an "Energy Efficiency and Green Building" guideline for use in designing Colgate's newest state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities around the world.
Following are Colgate facilities currently in the process of pursuing LEED certification:
- Our oral care plant in Swidnica, Poland
- Our Global Technology Center in Piscataway, New Jersey
- Our toothbrush factories under construction in Sanxiao, China and Vietnam
- Our Hill's manufacturing sites in Emporia, Kansas and Hustapece, Czech Republic
- Our new soap manufacturing plant in Bangpakong, Thailand
Product Transport Efficiencies
In addition to our tight focus on energy efficiency in our facilities, we are also working to increase the efficiency of our product transport network, resulting in less energy required to deliver the product to market. For example, a new distribution center in the United States will eliminate 1.7 million miles from our distribution network and save 283,000 gallons of fuel and $2.2 million per year.
Hill's Pet Nutrition partners with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay Transport Partnership, an innovative collaboration to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel efficiency. Since the beginning of 2007, the Hill’s delivery team has saved the company over $1 million in fuel costs due to improvements in fleet efficiency.
Global Energy Reduction Team
As a way to encourage energy efficiency throughout the Company, Colgate established a Global Energy Reduction Team in 2003, comprising internal energy and environmental experts. The team works virtually via the intranet to create various energy-reduction procedures, materials and tools. Specifically, this team leads the energy initiative by identifying and communicating new ideas and best practices for energy-saving opportunities, and by supporting on-site energy surveys. Recent efforts include an evaluation of the applicability of cogeneration at Colgate's global manufacturing sites, development of a motor replacement tool and the launch of an energy "help desk" tool to support facilities' energy reduction programs.
Third-party Energy Surveys
Since 2003, most of Colgate's largest sites have participated in comprehensive third-party energy surveys, resulting in the identification and implementation of numerous energy savings projects that have saved the Company several million dollars per year in energy costs. Recognizing that all sites, large and small, can do their part to reduce energy use, the Colgate Global Energy Reduction Team created the "CP Energy Reduction Guidebook" and distributed it to all manufacturing and research facilities around the world. Sites frequently use this tool while conducting their annual energy assessments. Additionally, Colgate offers an energy reduction e-training program to all Colgate facilities worldwide for use in developing their internal energy competency.
Colgate values the engagement of external partners who assist with the continuous improvement of our environmental performance. For example, Colgate is:
Hill's Pet Nutrition is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay participant.
These programs and partnerships have allowed us to share information and obtain additional perspectives on important environmental issues.