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GOJO: Bringing Well-Being to the World

December 12, 2013
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At GOJO, we create sustainable value through a “leading and learning” approach toward continuous improvement. We dedicate ourselves to leading our industry in sustainable solutions and practices, while continuously expanding our knowledge and efforts to finding better solutions. Ultimately, sustainable value measures the positive impact we make for the ecosystem and toward improving the health of the people we serve around the world.

Through Sustainable Ways of Working, or SWOWSM, we are changing the ways we think and work in order to achieve sustainability results in all aspects of our business. This involves a strong corporate commitment to fully integrating sustainability principles into core business strategies, communicating expectations, engaging stakeholders, generating opportunities and developing the tools and support needed to accomplish measurable goals.

A Legacy of Sustainability

Akron, Ohio-based GOJO Industries, Inc. was built upon a legacy of sustainability. The leading global producer and marketer of skin health and hand hygiene solutions for away-from-home markets was founded by Goldie and Jerry Lippman in the 1940s with the singular purpose of providing workers in rubber factories with a better way to clean their hands – one that was safer, gentler and more pleasing than the harsh, carcinogenic chemicals commonly used at that time.  

Driven by the GOJO Purpose – Saving Lives and Making Life Better Through Well-Being Solutions — we embrace sustainability as a business priority We’re deeply committed to creating sustainable value for our company and the many stakeholders we touch, through the ways we work and the products we produce.

Collaborating to Create Sustainable Value

We recognize that successfully addressing sustainability challenges requires diverse perspectives. This is why stakeholder collaboration is a key principle guiding our work. In partnership with GOJO team members, customers, suppliers, thought leaders and community organizations, we find common ground and create win-win situations to advance sustainability objectives.

The following examples illustrate some of our most recent collaborative sustainability efforts.

Repurposing Products to Improve Lives Globally

Our collaboration with Matthew 25: Ministries serves the dual objectives of reducing our waste stream and bringing well-being to people in great need. It serves as an excellent example of the good that can be achieved when principles of environmental and social sustainability intersect.

The stated mission of Cincinnati-based Matthew 25: Ministries is to care for the poorest of the poor. The organization is ranked in the top ten among 4-star charities, according to Charity Navigator, while Forbes Magazine named it one of America’s most efficient large charities.

GOJO President Mark Lerner took a hands-on approach to initiating our involvement in this soap donation program. He appointed our Waste Reduction Team, led by Sunshine Scherer, to quickly devise a process for identifying and shipping unused products to the charitable organization, which then repackages the product for distribution to Nicaragua, Haiti and other countries where soap and clean water are limited.

Within just four months of initial contact, critically needed hand hygiene products were being delivered on a regular basis to the Matthew 25: Ministries warehouse. Repackaging is conducted by a network of Cincinnati school children who, with their families, gain a valuable introduction to the practice of volunteerism.  

The donated soap is perfectly usable, but does not meet our high standards for commercialization.

 “GOJO products have a tremendous impact on our work,” says Matthew 25: Ministries CEO Tim Mettey. “Some 2.4 billion people worldwide don’t have access to adequate sanitation, and two million children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe drinking water and poor hygiene. Supplying a hospital or public facility with GOJO soap can significantly improve overall hygiene conditions and allow healthcare workers to provide a better recuperative experience for their patients.”


People Matter – Our Human Focus on Social Well-Being

Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) provide vocational training and productive job opportunities for disabled persons. We work with CRPs across the country, providing production and skill development opportunities for these organizations. 

We have a special relationship with Akron’s United Disability Services. UDS helps people with disabilities make the most of their potential, and GOJO contributes to this cause with consistent assembly and packaging work for their employee clients.

“GOJO is very gracious in working with us because they allowed us to add labor to the product so we can put our people to work,” says UDS President and CEO Gary Knuth. “And in doing so, we have a finished product provided by people with disabilities.”

Responding in Times of Critical Need

When natural disasters occur in America and around the world, we address critical health needs with donated products that respond to the spread of germs and reduce the health risk. From Hurricane Sandy to the Gulf Coast oil spill and the earthquake recovery effort in Japan, GOJO has extended a helping hand.

GOJO received the Circle of Humanity Award from the American Red Cross for our actions worldwide that also contributed to our social sustainability BHAG (Big Harry Audacious Goal) to “Bring Well-Being to One Billion People Every Day.”

Accelerating Sustainable Ways of Working

In 2010, GOJO publicly announced a set of ambitious five-year sustainability goals pertaining to our production process. This commitment included major reductions in the water we use in manufacturing, the solid waste we generate and the greenhouse gases we emit.

In 2012, our success in reducing environmental impacts has earned GOJO the prestigious Environmental Excellence Award from the Ohio EPA.

Here are the latest results, as stated in our 2012 Sustainability Report:

·         Water Reduction– In 2010 we stated that by 2015 we would make a 30 percent water use reduction in our production process relative to the 2010 product per-use rate. As of the end of 2012, we’d already reduced our water consumption by 29 percent. Last year alone, we found ways, through equipment upgrades and new technologies, processes and procedures, to cut more than 1.5 million gallons annually.


·         Solid Waste Reduction– Our stated goal in 2010 was a 25 percent cut in solid waste generated by 2015, relative to 2010 per-use rate. By the end of 2012, we’d already cut waste by 13 percent. Even more notably, 84 percent of the waste generated in 2012 was diverted from landfills.


·         Greenhouse Gas Reduction– The GHG goal stated in 2010 was a five percent reduction relative to the 2010 per-use rate. By the end of 2012 we’d surprised ourselves with a 40 percent reduction in GHG emissions.

Through our ongoing commitment to lead the world toward a healthier future by delivering sustainable value through our products and the ways we work, GOJO helps improve the health and well-being of the lives we touch across the world.

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