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Keeping waste out of the environment

There’s no single way to effectively tackle waste. To make an impact, it’s important to combine a range of approaches. 

One important approach SC Johnson uses involves working hard to make sure any waste we generate doesn’t end up in landfills and enter our environment. We divert waste using a range of methods, including recycling, reuse and — as a last option — incineration. 

We also measure our progress in different ways, in order to be as accurate as possible and hold ourselves to the highest standards and goals. 

Keeping waste out of landfills
Moving beyond zero manufacturing waste to landfill

As part of our efforts to lessen our environmental footprint, SC Johnson has long been committed to making sure any waste from our manufacturing operations doesn’t enter landfills. 

In 2019, we achieved a significant milestone with all of our global consumer brand factories sending zero manufacturing waste to landfill.

As our company has grown through acquisitions in recent years, we’re excited to extend this long-held commitment to our newly joined factories.

We’re also focused on a bigger goal. We want to go beyond “zero manufacturing waste to landfill” and achieve “zero total waste to landfill”, eliminating all landfill waste from the facilities we operate—across manufacturing operations, offices and cafeterias.

Today, 82% of the factories we own send zero waste to landfill. Our goal is 100% by 2025.

Toluca, Mexico
Zero waste to landfill from our site, for 3 years
By segregating waste like paper and plastic for recycling

Nairobi, Kenya
Zero waste to landfill from our site 
Continuing to reduce waste that is sent for incineration
Increasing waste recycled and reused on-site

Europlant, The Netherlands
Collects and reuses wastewater
Reuses end-of-run finished product that would otherwise become waste

Surabaya, Indonesia
Blends production waste with on-site biomass to heat water for production
Repurposed waste metal drums into recycling receptacles for the community

Today, 82% of our factories send zero waste to landfill. Our goal is for 100% of our sites to send zero waste to landfill by 2025.

Zero means zero
Defining zero waste to landfill

Companies define zero waste to landfill in different ways. It’s important to be clear that, for us, zero means zero. All of SC Johnson’s plants must reuse, recycle, eliminate or divert waste that could otherwise be sent to landfill. 

When measuring, we also require that each of our sites sustains zero waste to landfill for six months before it can be recognized for this achievement. 

Our zero total waste to landfill progress
At a glance

SC Johnson’s sites diverting all waste from landfill*

*100% zero waste sites diverting all waste from landfill, across our manufacturing, offices and cafeterias
Waste reduction in action
We’re collecting, reusing, repurposing and recycling

Our commitment to “zero” relies on creativity and innovation. As well as reusing materials on site, we repurpose them externally in the communities around our factories. 

Other strategies including industrial recycling, on-site wastewater treatment and composting are all important parts of the picture too. Incineration is sometimes used, but only as a last option.

How can we achieve total zero waste to landfill? We employ a range of efforts, like collecting and reusing wastewater from the manufacturing process and collecting leftover material at the end of the production cycle that would otherwise become waste. We also divert all paper and plastic waste for recycling and, in Surabaya, we repurpose waste metal drums into recycling receptacles for the community.

Alongside recycling, reuse, and incineration as a last resort, minimizing the amount of waste we create in the first place is an important and effective way to keep waste out of the environment, helping to create a better, more sustainable world.