Sustainability 101 Case Example: Ashland

Ashland is a global specialty chemical company operating in more than 100 countries. The chemistries Ashland provides enable pharmaceuticals that excel in form and function, anti-aging ingredients in skin-care products, more sustainable building products, lighter yet stronger wind-turbine blades, and advanced recycled motor oils that reduce energy consumption.

One of Ashland’s business units (Valvoline) needed to respond to a request from a major customer (Walmart) about its sustainability efforts. Valvoline had not previously embraced sustainability and needed to develop a program that over time addressed specific requirements. The sustainability effort was led by the Senior Vice President of Valvoline and driven through the organization down to the operational sites.

The results of Valvoline’s initiatives have led to reduced energy consumption, reduced waste generation, and (in several cases) zero landfill sites. Water reduction was minimal, since the business did not consume large quantities of water. Conservation efforts have maintained water consumption to pre-2012 levels.

[This case study originally appeared in GEMI’s Sustainability 101 Quick Guide.]

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