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Clorox reveals new emissions targets that increase supply-chain pressure

September 7, 2021, 10:31 AM UTC

Good morning.

The pandemic sent Clorox Company’s stock on a roller coaster ride, soaring 60% in the first half of last year as cleaning-obsessed customers cleared its products off store shelves. It has since lost most of that increase, as performance has lagged and supply chain problems have pinched. But when I talked last week with CEO Linda Rendle, who took over the top job one year ago, she still had no doubt that the pandemic‘s effect on her company had been net positive.

“It’s been an interesting time to run a 108-year-old company,” she said. “To say that we are a stronger company 18 months into this is absolutely true. We are going to look back at this time and say, ‘It has made us better.’”

Rendle gave me a preview of new targets for greenhouse gas emissions that Clorox is announcing this morning. Like a steadily increasing number of companies, it is not only pledging to reduce all emissions by 2050, but to cut emissions across all its operations by 50% by 2030.

The most interesting commitment is the smallest—a 25% reduction in so-called “Scope 3” emissions that occur outside the company, across its value chain. “Ninety percent of our emissions are not directly under our control,” Rendle explained.

What that means is Clorox will have to increase pressure on the transportation logistics industry and others that service it to deliver on its promise. It’s that supply-chain effect that carries the potential to ultimately transform the economy. As ever-more Fortune 500 companies commit to “Scope 3” reductions, the companies that serve them will have to change to meet their commitments. That sort of supply chain effect is why I think that, even absent effective government action, 2021 will be seen as a turning point in business commitments to tackling climate change.

“We have had nearly two decades of focusing on our climate impact,” Rendle said. “What the pandemic has done is strengthen our resolve.”

More news below.

Alan Murray


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This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.

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