Avon Products Inc.
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Water Use Reduction

As issues around water scarcity remain on the sustainability forefront, Avon continues to take steps to use water wisely and conserve this precious resource, especially in water stressed parts of the world. From 2005 through 2012, Avon has made significant water reductions throughout the company's operations, reducing water use by a total of 180 million gallons in manufacturing facilities and 20 million gallons in distribution centers.

Avon set a short-term target to reduce water consumption by 7 percent per unit by the close of 2012 as part of the company's long-term goal to reduce water intensity by 40 percent by 2020. Avon exceeded that goal with a 14.6 percent reduction against 2008 levels on a per unit basis.

Some examples of Avon's annualized global efforts to reduce water consumption in 2011-2012 are included below. These initiatives reflect the commitment of the Avon Green Building Promise to minimize the environmental impacts of the company's facilities by achieving LEED certification in all new construction and major renovations.

  • The Zanesville, Ohio (U.S.) Distribution Center saves about 5.5 million gallons a year due to green design elements such as rainwater harvesting and water-saving plumbing fixtures.
  • By using air-cooling compressors, operations in Canada conserve 5 million gallons a year.
  • Operations in Poland conserve 14 million gallons each year by optimizing cleaning processes.
  • The manufacturing facility in Morton Grove, Illinois (U.S.) saves some 12 million gallons annually by monitoring consumption, increasing employee awareness and using more grey water, which is wastewater that can be recycled on-site for uses such as landscaping.
  • The LEED Gold certified U.S. Headquarters in New York City includes high efficiency faucets and toilets, 35 percent more efficient than standard, as well as Energy Star dishwashers for silverware and mugs used in place of disposable utensils.

In 2012, Avon reduced overall water usage by 8.5 percent in manufacturing operations in absolute terms, but increased usage by 5.3 percent on a per unit basis from 2011 levels. Against the 2005 baseline, Avon has reduced its total water consumption by 33 percent on an absolute basis and by 31 percent on a per unit basis – exceeding Avon’s target of 20 percent reduction.

Water Consumption Index (Gallons/000's Units)
Global Manufacturing Locations

Water Consumptions

In 2012, Avon's consumption increased by 5.3 percent at its manufacturing locations per unit from 2011 levels.

Total Water Consumption
Global Manufacturing Facilities

Water Consumptions

In 2012, Avon's total water consumption was reduced 8.5 percent from 2011 levels.

Moving forward

As a multinational company, Avon realizes its impact on the global community and continues to implement projects to achieve zero water waste discharge in water-scarce countries where the company operates, particularly in India, China and Brazil. The Avon manufacturing facility in China has been designated a National Environmental Protection Operative Technology Demonstration Project and has received an Environmental Protection Award for waste water expansion project from the Guangdong Environmental Protection Industry Association. Also in China, the new Avon R&D Center in Shanghai achieved LEED Platinum certification.

water intensity
40 percent
by 2020