Sustainable ways of working

The Summit of Sustainability Awards

Winner Large Business Category
GOJO Industries Inc. 

GOJO Industries Inc. was built upon a legacy of sustainability — there had to be a better, safer and gentler way for Akron’s rubber workers during World War II to clean their hands. The harsh benzene chemical used at the time was unhealthy. The result was the launch of GOJO, a cleaner which cut through tough soils but washed off in water.

Ever since then, the company has focused on innovative and sustainable products such as Purell hand sanitizer.

“The progress in our social, environmental and economic sustainability measurements is a direct result of the authentic commitment of GOJO employees to our Sustainable Ways of Working culture,” said GOJO Vice Chair Marcella Kanfer Rolnick.

In 2012, the company’s success in reducing environmental impacts earned GOJO the prestigious Environmental Excellence Award from the Ohio EPA.

The company set a goal in 2010 to reduce water use by 30 percent — and by the end of 2012 had already reduced consumption by 29 percent. The company found ways through equipment upgrades and new technologies, processes and procedures, to cut more than 1.5 million gallons annually.

Likewise, the company set a goal to reduce solid waste. A total of 84 percent of the waste generated in 2012 was diverted from landfills. Instead, it was recycled or repurposed through several programs with third parties such as in association with Matthew 25: Ministries, a collaboration which not only helps reduce the waste stream but helps bring well-being to people in need.

Greenhouse gas reduction as well has exceeded expectations. There has been a 40 percent reduction in the past three years, while 5 percent had been the goal.