World Wildlife Fund announced recently that JohnsonDiversey, a provider of commercial cleaning products and services, has joined the WWF Climate Savers program, pledging to significantly reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.
The company announced it will invest $19 million over the next five years to achieve these commitments, but anticipates operational savings of $31 million over the same period, which demonstrates, say company officials, that sustainability is the right approach for both the environment and the bottom line.
WWF president and CEO Carter Roberts said the actions being taken by JohnsonDiversey to address climate change will set a new standard for the cleaning industry and serve as a model for other companies seeking to transform the way they do business to help preserve the environment.
“Changes in corporate business practices are essential if we are to see real progress in tackling climate change, one of the most critical issues facing the world today,” Roberts said. “By joining Climate Savers, JohnsonDiversey is demonstrating that the world’s leading companies will find even greater success competing in the global marketplace when they operate in an environmentally responsible way. We hope and expect the rest of their industry will take notice and follow the powerful example being set by JohnsonDiversey to reduce emissions and help preserve the health of our planet.”
JohnsonDiversey Chairman S. Curtis Johnson said the company’s involvement in Climate Savers is consistent with its long heritage of protecting the planet for future generations.
“This commitment is one of our core values, as it has been since my great-great-grandfather founded the first of the Johnson companies 122 years ago,” Johnson said. “Our objectives have always extended beyond financial growth to include promoting the health and well being of our planet and the people who share it.”
By 2013, JohnsonDiversey officials pledged to reduce emissions from their operations by 8% below 2003 levels, an 89,000 ton reduction in emissions. To achieve that target, the company outlined a number of operational initiatives including:
- Improving the fuel efficiency of its worldwide auto and truck fleet by switching to vehicles with the best fuel efficiency in their class and alternative energy vehicles;
- Upgrading the energy efficiency of its buildings, manufacturing plants, and operations in major sites around the world;
- Installing on site alternative energy sources such as fuel cells or wind turbines.
By becoming the first company in the cleaning industry to sign on to WWF Climate Savers, JohnsonDiversey joins a rapidly growing list of leading corporations from around the world that are working with WWF to reduce their emissions and operate in an environmentally responsible way. The announcement was made in Las Vegas during ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2008, the cleaning industry’s leading trade show.
“Our customers all over the world are asking us to be their partner in developing solutions to reduce their environmental impact, protect human health and safety, and improve the economic strength of their enterprises,” JohnsonDiversey president and CEO Ed Lonergan said. “Our goal is to not only practice sustainability in all we do, but also to help our customers become more sustainable in their operations.”
Company officials say this latest initiative is part of an ongoing effort to integrate sustainability programs into their operations. For example, in 2007 the company assisted more than 1,000 European hotels and health care facilities in reducing energy consumption by a total of 35.5 million KwH by applying a low temperature laundry washing system. The decrease in carbon dioxide emissions was equivalent to taking more than 1,200 passenger vehicles off the road for a full year. The company also helped food and beverage customers in 21 sites around the world save a billion gallons of water in 2007 through its water management program.
JohnsonDiversey first collaborated with WWF in 2004, supporting water conservation.
WWF’s Climate Savers was founded in 1999 and currently comprises 17 major international companies which, by 2010, will collectively cut carbon emissions by over 14 million tons annually—the equivalent of taking more than 3,000,000 cars off the road every year. Climate Savers companies were among the first to recognize that climate change poses both risks and opportunities to business. Leading corporations are partnering with WWF to establish ambitious targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions voluntarily. By increasing efficiency and pioneering deployment of clean energy technology, Climate Savers companies are saving hundreds of millions of dollars, proving that protecting the environment is sound business practice.