The most recent goal for SC Johnson was to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by eight percent from 2005 through 2010. However, this didn’t happen – instead SC Johnson more than tripled their five year GHG reduction goal to 27 percent through renewable energy projects. Going above and beyond is nothing new for SC Johnson. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program set a similar goal in 2000 through 2005. As it would be in the future, the goal was set at eight percent but was more than double with a 17 percent cut.
How did SC Johnson cut their greenhouse gas emissions by so much in the past ten years? Both drops in GHGs were mainly led by two cogeneration turbines at SC Johnson’s Waxdale manufacturing facility near Racine, Wis. By using landfill byproducts in place of coal, the turbines run on waste methane from a landfill and natural gas which generates electricity and steam.
“When setting the 2010 goal of eight percent, it was one of the most aggressive goals in our industry at the time,” Kelly Semrau, senior vice president of global corporate affairs, communication and sustainability said. “We felt it was a stretch goal for us as it had been determined that additional co-gen opportunities were not available.”
The first of the two cogeneration turbines was introduced to the facility in 2003. By 2005 the second turbine was up and running and the turbines provided enough electricity for the entire plant and from half to all of the steam needed.
“We continually look at alternative energy sources, everything from wind to biofuel, to power our manufacturing facilities and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Scott Johnson, the company’s vice president of global environmental and safety action. “We are committed to finding innovative solutions that will enable us to protect the planet for future generations.”
Though the turbines are the main source of SC Johnsons GHG reductions other significant contributions come from other renewable energy projects as well. The factory in Bay City, Mich. gets 46% of its energy from wind power.
“Our strategy is to constantly seek new ways to minimize our impact and our commitment to green energy spans the globe,” Semrau said. “Implementation of this will vary depending upon the opportunities that are presented in each country.”