At Sun Products, we believe in making a positive contribution in the places where our consumers and associates live. This commitment enhances our ability to make everyday lives better, delighting consumers and customers with quality laundry and household care products at an outstanding value.
An ethical workplace is the foundation of a responsible company. We conduct ourselves with honesty and integrity and are guided by our Code of Conduct, which sets expectations for associate behavior. Our Code aligns with our corporate values of people, integrity, passion, humility and commitment.
But for us, sustainability is about more than just ethical conduct. We work to ensure we are:
- A manufacturer of safe and effective products.
- Environmental stewards.
- An active member of our local communities.
- A caring and responsible employer.
Chaired by our Chief Marketing Officer, our sustainability working group is responsible for ensuring we live up to our sustainability commitment. This group is comprised of associates from key functional areas such as safety, regulatory, manufacturing, marketing and research & development. Together, our working group ensures we manage sustainability risks and opportunities appropriately and engage with external stakeholders to enable us to become a better corporate citizen, an employer of choice, and to deliver quality products that delight consumers in a safe and responsible manner.
In 2015, we commissioned a third-party sustainability expert to review our activities and sustainability performance across the business and identify strengths and opportunities. We will continue to evolve our sustainability approach to stay ahead of emerging trends.
SAFE AND EFFECTIVE PRODUCTS
We continually innovate to bring safe and effective products to our consumers. We abide by all regulatory requirements related to chemicals of concern. We have a Supplier Quality Expectations Manual that outlines our standards to ensure supplied materials are safe and effective, and manufactured and sourced in a responsible manner. Beyond compliance, our innovation team design packaging with consumer safety, transportation efficiency, and optimal shelf space top of mind. For example:
- For our single dose laundry pacs, we added safety and cautionary language and icons on the front of packages, transitioned from transparent to opaque pouches and tubs, and encouraged consumers to keep them out of sight and reach of children.
- Our all® mighty pacs and Wisk Deep Clean® Powerblasts single dose laundry detergent products are biodegradable; use 88% less water and 64% less plastic than standard liquid detergent; and save fuel and reduce emissions by shipping 200,000 more wash loads per truck.
- By increasing the concentration and removing water, our all® small & mighty super concentrated formula provides 30% more wash loads in the same size bottle for the same price. It is twice the concentration of many detergents on shelf today.
- all® free clear, the #1 detergent brand recommended by dermatologists for sensitive skin, has extended its offerings into fabric conditioning and a laundry booster, providing a complete sensitive skin laundry regimen. all® free clear is clinically proven to be mild on skin, free of dyes and perfumes and 100% hypoallergenic.
- Most recently, we introduced child-deterrent tubs for single dose pacs and an optimized pouch for Snuggle Scent Boosters.
While we are advancing our own product portfolio, we recognize the sustainability issues facing our industry are often complex, global challenges. Therefore, we are committed to working with the industry to collectively address our impacts as demonstrated by our:
- Support for Wal-Mart’s commitment to transition to a higher level of concentrated liquid laundry detergent. This commitment will provide consumers with high-performance cleaning products and a reduced environmental footprint.
- Active participation within industry associations including the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) and Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), where Sun Products senior executives serve on the Boards of Directors and several associates are members of various committees.
- Membership of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. While our overall use of palm-derived chemicals is very small—less than 0.03 per cent of worldwide production—we recognize our role in ensuring our sourcing of palm-derived ingredients is responsible. For more information on our use of palm oil-derived chemicals, please see our Palm Oil summary.
Sun Products demonstrates its commitment to innovation with its North American Technology Center located in Trumbull, CT, which opened in 2010. The significant investment underscores the importance of technology and innovation to drive growth. In addition to laboratories and package design facilities, the site provides space to interact with consumers including laundry facilities and ideation rooms, which steers product design.
We strive to continuously improve our operations and processes to ensure the protection of the local environment. At each of our manufacturing facilities, we monitor greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, water use, effluent discharge and waste production. Following recent changes to our manufacturing operations, we are working to establish new baseline environmental data for publication.
Our associates are at the forefront of our operations and are encouraged to share ideas on how to reduce our environmental impact. Their creative thinking has allowed us to identify opportunities to reuse materials and decrease waste. For example, we now reuse the empty cores, and have reduced the amount of shrink wrap on our pallets, per associate suggestions.
Additionally, we believe in working closely with local partners to achieve shared environmental objectives. For example, our Bowling Green facility is a partner-level member of KY EXCEL (Kentucky Excellence in Environmental Leadership). KY EXCEL recognizes individuals, businesses and organizations that act to improve Kentucky’s diverse and unique environment through leadership. As part of this program, we are implementing a waste-minimization program to decrease the amount of waste being sent to landfills.
We work toward maximizing our philanthropy to address the issues most important to our associates, consumers, customers and communities. Sun Products support includes product and monetary donations, as well as associate volunteering. In 2015, monetary and inventory donations totaled approximately $2 million.
We encourage associates to share their knowledge, time and skills by volunteering in the community. At each manufacturing plant and office location, associate volunteer teams select local charities to support and organize volunteer activities throughout the year. This structure allows our associates to identify the areas of greatest need in their communities. For example:
- At our headquarters in Wilton, CT, associates have supported Make A Wish for several years, and more recently also chose to direct donations to Habitat for Humanity and volunteered their time to help build two homes in nearby Bridgeport, CT.
- Our Canadian associates have supported Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter, a local domestic violence shelter for women and their children, for many years by hosting fundraising events and collection drives.
- More than 125 associates and their families were involved in fundraising, participating in the walk and volunteering at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Walk to Cure Diabetes in Salt Lake City.
- Our Bowling Green facility sponsors an annual motorcycle ride that raises money for child abuse awareness and prevention organized by the Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center. Many associates participate in the event by either riding or volunteering.
In addition to sponsoring local events, Sun Products offers two associate programs that encourage associates to apply for financial grants to support their charities of choice. Our Dollars for Doers awards grants to organizations where employees volunteer their time and our Matching Gift program matches donations associates make to their charities of choice.
For more information on our charitable giving, please see our 2015 Charitable & Community Outreach Summary.
CARING AND RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYER
We strive to create a safe and supportive working environment where our associates can thrive. We are committed to helping our associates maintain and improve their health inside and outside the workplace. Our safety, security, and health guidelines outline our standards to create a safe working environment. We monitor adherence to these standards by conducting internal audits and tracking safety metrics such as Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate.
In recent years, we have expanded our activities to address associate wellness holistically. Specific programs include:
- In 2014, we opened the Sunshine Health Care Center at our Bowling Green site, offering both clinical and diagnostic, convenient healthcare services to associates at no cost.
- All our sites host health and wellness courses, programs, and events to promote healthy lives. Activities and topics range from health and nutrition to stress management.
These programs support our philosophy to create an engaging work environment with work-life balance. We aim to help associates find that balance with programs that allow for greater flexibility and time management. For example, our Flexible Work Hours Policy aims to allow associates to modify their daily working hours so they are better able to balance the needs of work and family.
For a PDF summary of Sun Products’ sustainability activities, please see our Sustainability Highlights.