RB aims to reduce its water impact and, at the same time, help people improve their health and hygiene. Water is an essential part of our future, and water challenges vary greatly by location. For this reason, it is essential that we focus our efforts where water is most scarce. All of our Powerbrands require water and around 85% of our water impact comes from consumer use. With increasing water scarcity, our consumers will have less water to use. We aim to develop smart innovations and interventions that help our consumers meet their needs and aspirations while consuming less water.

Since 2012:

9% reduced water impact^

30% Water reduction*


Our 2020 Goal: 1/3 less water impact per dose of product.

We assess the water impact of all our products across their entire lifecycle, from the sourcing of raw materials, through to their manufacturing, consumer use, and final disposal. We also consider location-specific factors for water scarcity that enable us to specifically focus on areas of greatest concern. In 2015, we changed the way we measure our global water impact from a top-down approach to a product-level approach which has necessitated an update to our 2012 baseline. This has enabled us to measure our total water impact globally while enhancing our understanding of the impacts from our products. For more information please see our detailed sustainability performance report.

Our water use per dose has increased slightly (+2%) since 2012. While we are continuing to develop and market water efficient hygiene Water solutions like Dettol Squeezy and Dettol Touch of Foam, we are not yet seeing reductions from the largest part of our footprint – consumer use of our products. Since 2012, there has been a 9% reduction in water impact per dose. However, this has been driven by sales mix changes in countries with high water scarcity levels and not by water reductions in water use per dose. Over the past few years, we have seen that our water impact indicator is very sensitive to small changes in sales in areas with high water scarcity factors. As a result, we are exploring the best way to measure ourselves against our aim of enabling consumers to live healthier, more hygienic lives in increasingly water scarce areas.

See below for the water impact footprint split across the whole product lifecycle (2015 data).

The key driver of our water impact is consumer use. So consumers must be at the heart at of our effort to reduce water impact. Water reduction initiatives and products include:

Dettol’s Banega Swachh programme, India

In India, Dettol’s Banega Swachh programme has been raising awareness and levels of hygiene through various initiatives, education programmes and media campaigns. As part of this, Dettol visited the 2015 Nasik Kumbh Mela – an event attended by over 30m pilgrims – to help reduce both the spread of diseases caused by unhygienic conditions and the amount of water used during the two month period the event took place. Dettol delivered educational materials promoting good hygiene and effective hand washing and distributed its hand sanitisers – which give waterless hand hygiene – and Squeezy Liquid Hand Wash.

Dettol’s Squeezy Liquid Hand Wash has the convenience and efficiency of our conventional liquid hand wash for the price of bar soap. However, as a liquid, it uses over 40% less water compared to bar soap. At the event, further water was saved through the use of a uniquely designed low-water spray faucet. In total, Dettol’s interventions led to the saving of 3.3m litres of water over the course of the event.


Our 2020 Goals:

35% water reduction*

Since 2012:

30% water reduction*

Since 2012 we have reduced our water use per unit of production by 30%. We're continuing to reduce our water use in manufacturing further by focusing on improvements to our processes. We’re are also actively identifying opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle water.

Since 2012, our liquid and powder products’ factory in Mira, Italy, has reduced water use by 75%. Changes included the installation of water meters and the rationalisation of the water distribution system. In response to our ‘Big Splash’ innovation challenge on the use of water, 19 out of 70 employee ideas were implemented after being evaluated by our engineers.

In 2015 our Nowy Dwór factory, Poland, upgraded the Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant increasing the volume of wastewater recovered. This has resulted in a water saving of 42,800 m3 and a financial saving of £7,500 annually.

*=per unit of production

^= per dose