Our environmental and social impacts arise from the products we design and manufacture. We’re innovating in our design and manufacturing to use less water, energy and packaging across their lifecycle.

We’re committed to providing safe and sustainable consumer products. Sustainability is an integral part of the product innovation process. We also look at how we select and communicate the ingredients within our products and aim to make ingredient decisions that will be right for our consumers and meet or exceed regulatory, sustainability and safety requirements.

In 2017, £1.8 billion (19%) of our total net revenue* came from more sustainable products.

Sustainable innovation

Our 2020 Goal: 1/3 net revenue from more sustainable products.

This can only be accomplished by developing our new products and innovations with sustainability at the forefront of our design philosophy. To do this, we must fully understand the impacts of our existing products and those we are developing in our pipeline. To achieve this, we have focused on improving the sustainability profile of our pipeline.

We are using a range of tools and approaches to help us calculate our impacts and develop more sustainable products, ensuring we meet our 2020 goal.

Since its launch in 2013, RB’s Sustainable Innovation App has become a key part of our product development process, comparing the impacts of new products against other existing benchmarks. We have over 600 active users globally, and several thousand completed assessments. This helps the business to make informed decisions about new products as well as changes to existing products.

Tackling Pollution in China

A live 28-hour ‘hackathon’ in June, brought together RB’s R&D and marketing experts with creative and entrepreneurial minds from other leading organisations around the world. They formed three teams. Their mission: to pioneer blockbuster innovations that could protect children’s health from the devastating effects of air pollution exposure in China, where levels are among the highest in the world.

The teams presented their ideas to a judging panel – made up of esteemed healthcare experts – and a packed audience at the Cannes Lions festival. The product solutions proposed were: Dream Cocoon, a dome made of specially engineered charcoal bamboo fabric, which filters air while babies sleep peacefully in a cot; GrowAir, a protective, customisable face shield designed using soft, transparent plastic to clean the air children breathe in as they play outside; and the winning solution, StrollAir, a small, portable and convenient connected air filtering device that repels polluted air and provides babies in prams with a clean air ‘bubble’. This product idea is now being investigated by RB’s global R&D team

Optrex Night Repair Gel Drops

Due to the risks associated with bacterial contamination, preservatives have a long history of use in eye treatments. However, the long-term use of products containing preservatives is not recommended by health care practitioners, especially overnight. Optrex has launched a preservative-free format, a first for the brand. It delivers continuous sterile product through a non-return valve system, a silicone membrane that filters any returning air and an antimicrobial insert that prevents any contamination around the dropper. In addition, this innovation delivers more doses so there is half of the carbon, water and packaging impacts per dose compared to previous versions.

Spotlight on Sustainable Innovation

Veja and Air Wick have made better ingredient choices using green chemistry to improve formulations. To meet the need for more natural ingredients, we’ve improved the sustainability profile of two of our existing product ranges using green chemistry – including most of our Air Wick Lifescents plug-in refills and Veja formulations. We’ve replaced traditional petroleum-based glycol ether solvents with Augeo solvent, developed from the by-product of the biodiesel production process in Brazil. Made from renewable resources, it combines high performance with improved sustainability.

What do we mean by more sustainable?

Product stewardship

Our Goals: 100% compliance with our Restricted Substances List and 100% ingredient transparency.

The consumer is at the heart of everything we do, and our goal is to provide safe and effective consumer products that contribute to healthier lives and happier homes. We view product stewardship as a responsibility to minimise any potential environmental, social and/or health impacts across a product’s lifecycle – from design to manufacturing, through to consumer use and disposal.

Consumer Safety Policy

Learn about Safety, Quality & Compliance

RB is committed to transparency about what is – and what is not – in our products

Effective product labelling enables customers to make more informed purchasing decisions. We are committed to providing 100% coverage of ingredient transparency across our portfolio to encourage our customers to make healthier and more sustainable choices.

In 2017, 63% of RB’s net revenue came from products for which we publicly publish lists of ingredients:  

Eliminating potential ingredients of concern

Since 2001, we have maintained a Restricted Substances List (RSL) to ensure a consistent global approach towards minimising and eliminating ingredients of potential concern. We assess the regulations, sustainability, safety and public landscape of the ingredients we use to identify potential risks and opportunities for substituting products with safe and effective alternatives. All staff responsible for the design, development and purchasing of ingredients receive annual training to ensure they are up to date with the RSL.

In 2017, we rolled out the updated our Restricted Substances List with new restrictions for isothiazolinones and updated our associated governance and processes. We extended out commitment to phase out of plastic microbeads used in personal care products to include home care products, recognising the potential negative impact they pose to the marine environment.

Restricted substances list policy

*= Q4 2014 - Q3 2015