Changing Recycling Habits

2012 Corporate Responsibility Report

we could incorporate 50 percent PCR and still have a well-formed cap. I don’t know of any other company that has gotten this far — most have zero percent-recycled caps. I’ve always enjoyed paving the way and proving to the big guys how far we can go. “We want to move beyond this and have set a 2013 goal to reduce our use of rigid virgin plastic by 25 percent in one year. This goal is tied to our Annual Incentive Plan so I know I will have my workmates to answer to if I don’t do my part. In fact, we’ve already reduced our virgin plastic in packaging by 31 percent since 2009 even though sales increased. That means we have eliminated 361 metric tons of virgin plastic in three years. Early in 2013, we had success in bringing three of our trickiest bottle types up to 100 percent PCR reducing our virgin plastic use further. The main challenge is that we have also had some backsliding with one of our large laundry bottles and one of our spray cleaner bottles. As we have moved to new designs, our packaging partners have had trouble incorporating the same high percentages of PCR content they were able to achieve in the past. We are working on it but meeting our 2013 goal will be difficult — but then we don’t like to set easy goals for ourselves.” Changing Recycling Habits Our team has made some great changes; now it’s time for Seventh Generation to help consumers do their part. Two events made it possible for us to focus on improving recycling rates in a new way. First, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) came out with their How2Recycle labels. Second, our marketing team unveiled new packaging designs with an engaging look that unifies our brand. We signed on as one of 11 ‘early adopters’ of the How2Recycle labels. The clear instructions will help consumers make sense of complex recycling requirements. For example, the sprayer on our Natural Tub & Tile Spray Cleaner can be recycled but the pumps on our 12 oz. Hand Wash cannot, as they contain metal. No wonder consumers have been confused. Now all of our packages will come with a large, clear 2012 10% target reduction goal label with instructions on proper recycling. We are also going to be embossing the package’s recycled content percentage right on the front of our bottles, showing what a priority this is for us. Empty & Re-Attach Sprayer PLASTIC how2recycle.info BOTTLE Our 100% recycled fiber boxes saved over 13,000 trees in 2012 compared to standard industry practices. VIRGIN PLASTIC USE REDUCTION Virgin Plastic (Metric Tons), 2011–2012 Actual 2012 reduction! 2,992 2011 2012 3,100 2,800 2,500 2,200 2,524 15.6% seventhgeneration.com/2012report   23 Nurturing Nature


2012 Corporate Responsibility Report
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