Zep Stewardship: Our path to a smaller footprint

March 1, 2021 |

Stewardship is not new for Zep. For over 80 years, we’ve focused on developing safe, effective cleaning solutions with a minimal footprint. Looking ahead to the newest chemical recommendations and using a system of continual improvement has been a hallmark of our business.

2020 marked the year that Zep began an integrated effort toward a more unified ESG strategy, paving the way for Zep Stewardship. We began Zep Stewardship with a materiality assessment that helped us identify the areas where we could have the most immediate impact over the next five years: carbon emissions, water usage and effluents, marketing and labeling, diversity and inclusion, and health and safety.

Water Usage and Effluents

As we begin our journey toward greater sustainability, we are reviewing our internal processes to determine how we can make a bigger contribution toward a greener planet. This includes how we help our customers, particularly those in the Food and Beverage industry where safe solutions are critical for the health and safety of consumers.
“At our Chambersburg campus, we are looking at ways to reduce water use. We’re striving toward a 0% effluent goal and making progress as we innovate on new ways to migrate water through our treatment units,” says Bob Klinetob, senior vice president at AFCO. “This strategy helps us to make progress on our own goals and also our customers’ goals.”

In 2021, we’re reviewing each of our facilities water treatment plans for best practices to build a more rigorous, enterprise-wide standard. Then Zep will be partnering with a third-party water stewardship group to ensure that our practices meet their criteria for water sustainability.

Carbon Emissions

Zep is committed to reducing carbon emissions through a number of internal initiatives and customer solutions.
In 2020, we began optimizing logistics in shipping and among our workforce to reduce our footprint by maximizing shipment trailer space, expanding our remote work policies and reducing our office space by more than half. These efforts will be used to create a baseline understanding of how we can continue to lower our footprint.
Another important focus will be increasing Zep’s usage of post-consumer waste (PCW) in our packaging, thereby reducing virgin plastic applications. By 2025, we will increase our usage of corrugate with recycled content to above 40% and increase our usage of plastic with recycled content to above 5%.

Not only are we working toward our own goals, we’re able to help our customers with their goals, such as reducing their own natural resource footprint or lowering costs through the use of efficient technology. We have a number of programs and solutions to meet our customers’ needs while maintaining emissions and reducing waste.

Marketing and Labeling

Part of our Vision 2025 goals is to be our customers’ top resource for biosecurity needs. Keeping them informed in a changing regulatory landscape is a top priority. We have several strategies in place to ensure that customers are receiving compliant formulas without business interruption.

  • We have systematized and scaled our accurate marketing and labeling process to ensure products meet compliance standards across all jurisdictions where they are used.
  • Over the next five years, we’re developing new processes to source replacement chemicals for those that are being phased out and determine new packaging sustainability opportunities.
  • Zep is also evaluating a companywide formulation policy to improve environmental and safety performance of products.
  • We will also be sharing a quarterly Tech Talk that will include updates for customers and our sales representatives on up and coming regulations.

A Greener Strategy for Tomorrow

Our purpose at Zep is to make the planet safer, cleaner and more productive. Each incremental step is one closer to our collective goals that serve our communities.

Vision 2025 and Zep Stewardship is our commitment to do the right thing for our employees, customers, communities and the planet. We look forward to sharing more progress in the future as we advance Zep Stewardship.

To learn more about how we can help you reach your sustainability goals, please contact your local sales representative or visit Zep.com.