Product Scorecard: As part of our commitment to sustainable products, our R&D team is always re-examining our products for opportunities to improve them. We developed a product scorecard in 2009 to give our designers an objective scoring system for comparing different materials and product formulations to foster sustainable decision making. This tool helps us balance concerns relating to human health, the environment (which includes increasing the percentage of renewable materials), efficacy, and cost. While our existing scorecard covers our cleaners, we are expanding this product scorecard tool to cover the rest of our product categories in 2011.
Product Improvements: Our ingenious product designers improved almost all of our products in 2010 demonstrating that even small ingredient changes can significantly reduce environmental impacts — especially when multiplied by the numbers of that product sold. In keeping with our commitment to use materials from plants not petroleum, we boosted the renewable content of our surfactants (cleaning agents) by 68%. For insight into how we calculate the Renewable Carbon Index (RCI) of our products, please refer to the charts in the Materials section of this report. Our product changes must also improve or maintain effectiveness; we measure the impact of formulation changes on product effectiveness by conducting studies at third party laboratories using standardized methods.
Laundry: Our product designers continue to deliver impressive innovations for our laundry detergent line.
- Our super-concentrated, powdered Natural Laundry Detergent now handles 65% more loads than the same amount of our old detergent and is now available in a Real Citrus and Wild Lavender scent.
- All liquid varieties of our laundry detergent are now at least 2X concentrated and all use plant-derived sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) as a cleaning agent - eliminating the trace amounts of the 1,4-dioxane by-product that were associated with our previous use of sodium lauryl ether sulfate. (Learn more about our six years of hard work to eliminate 1-4, dioxane and our successful switch to SLS in 2009.) By making formulation changes to our enzyme and cleaning agent systems, we were able to reduce the amount of cleaning agent by 25% – while improving efficacy and boosting the renewable carbon index for this product by 8%.
- "This product line is awesome. It works better; there is more renewable content, and we maintained cost. I love our R&D team." - Tim Fowler, VP of Research & Development
- Our Natural Dish Liquid now offers increased authenticity with plant-derived cleaning agents and a biodegradable formula – which also reduces caking on the spout. It is 14% more efficient and is available in a new Fresh Citrus and Ginger scent.
- Improvements to our Automatic Dishwasher Powder include replacing a synthetic surfactant with a plant-based analogue and replacing a non-biodegradable polymer to yield a fully biodegradable formula. We also added plant-derived enzymes that help this product clean significantly more effectively. Both Lemon and Free & Clear versions are now available.
- We replaced the cardboard packaging for our Automatic Dishwasher Pacs with a resealable pouch that contains 20 pacs instead of 15.The outer pouch is made of biodegradable polyvinyl acetate.
Diapers: We now use a super-absorbent polymer that allows us to reduce wood pulp by approximately 20% while delivering the same premium absorbency. These thinner diapers require less packaging per product and have reduced transportation and disposal impacts. We also added an umbilical cord cut-out for newborns.
Feminine Care: We improved the functional design of our applicator tampons.
Our tampons rank first– out of 128 reviewed by Good Guide.
Cleaners: Our spray cleaners had a makeover in 2010 which included removing the ethoxylated surfactants (plant-derived cleaning agents modified with petroleum) and changing to a preservative with a better safety and authenticity profile. The surfactant change has significantly increased the renewable/plant-derived carbon content to over 90% for all spray cleaners.
Paper Towels:When consumers hold a roll of our redesigned paper towels in their hands, they can feel the difference our changes have made. Switching to a two-ply system using sheets with differing, complementary technologies yielded towels that are fluffier, have a better hand feel and are 20% more absorbent. We also improved the perforations and increased the number of sheets from 112 to either 140 or 156 per roll.
Learn more about how we create our 100% recycled paper products.