Another Earth Day is upon us, and since it was first held 44 years ago, a lot of progress has been made.
In 1970, 20 million Americans peacefully demonstrated a need to raise awareness for the protection of our environment. Now, more than 190 countries have begun recognizing every April 22 as a “day of action which changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.” That’s about one billion people celebrating the protection and betterment of the environment for one day, every year – pretty impressive!
At GOJO, social and environmental mindedness started for us a bit earlier than 1970.
Though they didn’t call what they were doing “sustainability,” – and it maybe wasn’t even a recognized acknowledgement of environmental protection and social well-being – GOJO founders Goldie and Jerry Lippman built the idea of being good social and environmental stewards into how they worked and lived, and that translated into everything we did, and continue to do, as a company. In those days, Goldie and Jerry had to use what was available to them, and that’s exactly what they did. We strive to do the same today.
It was their foresight of the intersection of social and environmental sustainability that drives our passion to make products that better humanity, on all levels. From those early days in the 1940’s, when Goldie and Jerry pioneered a safer means of hand cleaning to replace the harsh, carcinogenic chemicals being used, to today when we proudly live our Purpose of “Saving Lives and Making Life Better Through Well-Being Solutions,” we’ve made protecting the planet and those who live on it our priority.
So often we hear and read about the footprint a company or individual leaves on the planet as they go through their daily lives. At GOJO, we salute the same concept; however, we see it a bit differently since we create products that clean hands. We call it our handprint, and in order to continually strengthen ours, we embrace the rare opportunity to create social value by enhancing the quality of life through better products that are better for people and the planet.
We pride ourselves on doing so in a way that respects our precious resources and improves well-being. We know resources are limited, and if we use them up now, future generations will suffer. Much like Goldie and Jerry did years ago, we are simply using what’s available to us. If the process to create safe, ‘clean’ products is ‘dirty,’ then we have not stayed true to the intentions of Goldie and Jerry, and we’ve in fact, not bettered our own handprint.
Our hard work to be better stewards of the planet remains focused on our water, waste, and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction efforts. I wrote last month about the fact we reduced our water usage by 49 million gallons between 2010 and 2013. That’s a lot of water! We have also reduced our solid waste generated by 36 percent and our GHG emissions are down 46 percent.
In the next few posts, I’ll share more of the ways we got to those numbers and highlight the things we are doing in the coming years to even further reduce our handprint.
I would love to hear from you about your Earth Day initiatives, and what you or your company are doing to move sustainability forward. Share your comments below and we will post them to this blog post, or feel free to reach out to me directly at KoharikN@gojo.com.
Have a great Earth Day, every day!