What is Energizer Personal Care doing to help minimize the impact of its products on the environment?
We continue to be a leader in the industry with our stewardship of the environment. Through our manufacturing process, we are committed to reducing waste, water use, greenhouse gasses and total energy use each by 10% for 2012. We are already well on our way to achieving all these goals, with waste reduced by 30%, water usage down by 12%, greenhouse gasses down 5% and energy usage down 3%.
In addition, we are actively developing and incorporating Design for Sustainability tools into the product development process. Design for Sustainability proactively addresses environmental, social, and economic considerations at the earliest stages of the product development process.
The goal is to proactively address the environmental impacts throughout the product life cycle by designing products that minimize energy consumption and waste generation, increase utilization of high recovery materials, and use “design for disassembly” principles to enhance recyclability.
At Energizer Personal Care, we are committed to making everyday lives better for today and tomorrow. We have played a major role in supporting Energizer Holdings’ sustainability pillars and are at the forefront in creating strategies that are sustainable.[PAGEBREAK]
>> What does Energizer Personal Care have planned for reducing its environmental impact moving forward?
We are committed to making everyday lives better for today and tomorrow. We have set – and exceeded – ambitious goals for reducing waste, implementing widespread recycling efforts and having a positive impact on the bottom line. But we are not stopping there; our efforts to drive sustainable development are ongoing.
In addition to looking at new technologies and how they may ultimately provide new options for manufacturing, packaging and recycling, Energizer Personal Care will continue to share insights and accomplishments throughout all of Energizer Holdings to explore synergies that could generate more sustainable product and packaging alternatives.
>> What is Energizer Household Products doing to help minimize the impact of their products on the environment?
We continue to be a leader in the industry with our stewardship of the environment here as well. Through our manufacturing process, we are committed to reducing total energy use and greenhouse gasses by 20 percent for 2012. We have also set an ambitious goal of 25 percent reductions in waste and water use. We are already well on our way to achieving all these goals, with waste reduced by 18%, water usage down by 19%, greenhouse gasses down 17% and energy usage down 19%.[PAGEBREAK]
In addition, we are actively developing and incorporating Design for Sustainability tools into the product development process. Design for Sustainability proactively addresses environmental, social, and economic considerations at the earliest stages of the product development process. The goal is to proactively address the environmental impacts throughout the product life cycle by designing products that minimize energy consumption and waste generation, increase utilization of high recovery materials, and use “design for disassembly” principles to enhance recyclability.
In 2007, Energizer Household Products commissioned a Life Cycle Assessment to look at the impact a battery has on the environment from cradle to grave. Most consumers only think about the last few steps in the cycle, which is storage, consumption and disposal, but to get a “true” assessment of the environmental impact, we looked at the whole battery process from raw materials to disposal. This information has helped us to continue to make improvements to our products to further reduce the impact as well as to educate consumers on the best battery for their device and the environment.
Most recently, Energizer Household Products was involved with an industry-commissioned Life Cycle Assessment with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to review methods of alkaline battery collection and recycling to scientifically determine the disposal method that has the minimum impact on the environment.[PAGEBREAK]
>> What impact do batteries have on the environment?
Through the Energizer Household Products Life Cycle Assessment it was determined that the relative impact of batteries on the environment, regardless of which type, is very low in comparison to other daily activities. Over a five-year period, total impact from battery use in a device will vary depending on application and battery type, but will typically be less than driving five miles in a car.
Additionally, the majority of the impact comes from the extraction of raw materials and production of the products. Therefore, Energizer Household Products is continuing to educate consumers on selecting the right battery for their device and frequency of use, which will minimize the number of batteries used and reduce the impact on the environment.
>> Is one battery better for the environment than another?
The answer is: it depends. It depends on the drain rate of the device and the usage pattern. Therefore, when used in low, moderate and high drain electronic devices, no single battery type has the lowest impact on the environment across a wide range of environment impact categories, such as global warming potential or ozone layer depletion. All of the chemistries in the study – Alkaline, Lithium, Nickel Metal Hydride (which is a common AA/AAA rechargeable construction), as well as Carbon Zinc, offer environmental benefits and shortcomings.[PAGEBREAK]
The best environmental option is to pick the right battery for the right device and usage pattern thereby reducing the number of batteries used. Energizer Household Products will continue to educate consumers on the benefits of using the right battery in the right devices.
>> Are rechargeable batteries the most sustainable solution?
Again, it depends on the device and the usage pattern. While they can be recharged, the choice should be made based on the consumer’s intended usage. Just like Alkaline, Lithium, and Carbon Zinc chemistries, Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeable batteries have their environmental benefits and shortcomings. It is important to remember that rechargeable batteries are part of a system, so the environmental impact and energy costs incurred producing their associated charger should also be considered.
>> Can you dispose of batteries safely in your household trash?
Much of the concern of battery disposal is based on the belief that batteries contain mercury but the major brands of household batteries haven’t contained added mercury for over twenty years. However, the real answer to proper battery disposal depends on your local regulations. Some municipalities have established laws to minimize the amount of waste that goes to landfills and, therefore, batteries may be part of the recycling mandate in your community. If in doubt, contact your local waste management provider.[PAGEBREAK]
2007 Battery Life Cycle Assessment – Environmental Impact of Batteries from Raw Materials to Disposal
>> Who conducted the 2007 Life Cycle Assessment?
Energizer’s 2007 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was conducted by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), one of the world’s leading providers of environmental consulting services. Standards from The International Organization for Standards were utilized in both the development and reporting of the LCA, and LCA experts were engaged to review the process and assumptions.
>> What data was it based on?
Following global standards, the LCA was developed based on North American data with sensitivities included to allow for changes in geographic production locations, rechargeable battery life and disposal options. The functional unit used: How many batteries (or charges) are needed to power a device (e.g.) through five years of “average” consumer use?
>> What did the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) measure?
The output of the LCA provides a comparison of “impact” of the batteries by device across seven environmental categories:
1. Use of Non-renewable Resources – This includes fossil fuels and minerals.
2. Global warming potential – Similar to a carbon footprint, this gauges the potential emission of greenhouse gases.
3. Ozone Layer Depletion – This represents the potential contribution to ozone layer depletion.
4. Human Toxicity – This impact category attempts to broadly cover emissions that could potentially cause human reactions such as toxicity, irritation, allergies, etc.
5. Photochemical Oxidation – This represents emissions that could contribute to certain negative atmospheric phenomena, such as the development of smog.
6. Acidification – The aggregate impact of any emissions that are known to contribute to acid rain and other acidic deposits.
7. Eutrophication – The potential for emissions to contribute to nutrient imbalances in bodies of water. One possible negative impact from such an imbalance is “algae bloom,” a phenomenon that can deplete water of oxygen.
>> What were the results?
The LCA showed that the impact of batteries is relatively small. When used in low, moderate and high drain electronic devices, no single battery type has the lowest impact on the environment across a wide range of environment impact categories. Alkaline, Lithium and Carbon Zinc chemistries, Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeable batteries all offer environmental benefits and shortcomings. To minimize impact and maximize the benefits of batteries, consumers need to choose the right battery for the right device.[PAGEBREAK]
>> What action is Energizer taking as a result of the LCA findings?
First, Energizer’s technology and engineering teams are “designing for the environment” to maximize the functionality of products while minimizing the impact on the environment, for example, removal of Teflon from our lithium batteries or removal of PFOA from our product materials.
Second, Energizer will continue to educate consumers on the benefits of the using the right battery in the right devices.
Energizer’s Recovery and Recycling team will continue to look for viable solutions to make battery recycling environmentally beneficial, based on additional life cycle work conducted in conjunction with the industry.
>> Does Playtex offer BPA-free products?
As a leader, Playtex led the market introduction of a line of completely BPA-free infant care products. You can be assured that all Playtex products are completely BPA-free.[PAGEBREAK]
>> How has Energizer Personal Care made its packaging more sustainable?
Over the years we have made significant packaging improvements. These include reducing the amount of materials used in packaging, using recycled materials where possible, using organic inks and creating more efficient shipping options by bundling products with shrink wraps and reducing the size of containers needed for packing and shipping. For example, interlocking cartons for blade refills nearly doubled the shippers per pallet in 2010, reducing packaging materials by 151 tons this year alone. As a division, we have also saved tons of corrugated cardboard with the co-packing of displays that are shipped to retailers.
>> How has Energizer Household Products made its packaging more sustainable?
Like our counterparts in Energizer Personal Care, Household Products has also made significant improvements in packaging. In the last several years, we have reduced the use of plastic by 95% in our Lighting Products Packaging, replacing it with recyclable paperboard or corrugated packaging.
In addition, we have right-sized the gauge thickness of battery blister cards ensuring we are maintaining package integrity while minimizing material use. We utilize recycled paperboard materials when possible, or require Certified Sustainably Forested paperboard.[PAGEBREAK]
In 2010 these efforts saved 234,190 lbs of paper and 127,230 lbs of plastic. We are not stopping there. We are currently in the process of implementing new Charger packaging globally that will reduce plastic usage by 40% in each package.
>> Does Energizer Household Products encourage battery recycling?
If a country, state or municipality has elected to collect and recycle some type or all types of batteries, we are actively participating in the collection and recycling efforts. In addition, we are firmly committed to exploring new ideas and emerging technologies that may offer better solutions to the recycling issue.
For more information on recycling programs in your area, please contact your local municipality.
2010 Life Cycle Assessment – Primary Battery Collection and Recycling
>> Who conducted the 2010 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)?
The battery industry, made up of primary battery major manufacturers including Energizer, commissioned the study with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
>> What did it study?
The LCA was designed to review methods of alkaline battery collection and recycling to scientifically determine their environmental impacts.
>> What were the results?
Initial results indicate that technology has advanced to a point that a carefully-designed system for the collection and recycling of batteries could be environmentally beneficial. In light of the results of the study, the battery industry is actively investigating solutions beyond land filling. For more information please visit batterysummit.com.
>> How does Energizer Holdings make a difference in local communities?
We are a company of caring people who are passionate about getting involved and helping in their local communities, so our efforts are numerous.
The Energizer Charitable Trust supports education outreach to children and young adults in underserved communities throughout the U.S., through direct grants and matching funds. More recently, it has extended its global reach by supporting disaster relief efforts in Japan, Chile, China, and Myanmar.
From Habitat for Humanity, Big Brother programs, local soup kitchens and more, there is a real passion for participation in all levels of community support – whether as individual colleagues working in our communities or as part of organizational partnerships. Some of our efforts include:
• Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
• UNICEF Light up Africa
• Habitat for Humanity
• Techo Para Mi Pais
• Ocean Conservancy’s Coastal Cleanup
• Outreach to local schools
• Food and toy drives
• Donations to U.S. troops and disaster victims