By better understanding our water use across the value chain, we can focus our efforts where we can make the biggest difference.

Using less water in our operations 

We use just under 15 million m3 of water per year in our operations – research laboratories, manufacturing sites and offices. We systematically audit our sites to identify opportunities to cut water use. We have cut water use by introducing more water efficient cleaning procedures, identifying and repairing leaks, and investing in efficient equipment. For example, we identified several areas at our Nairobi site in Kenya where we can collect and reuse water and installed a more efficient system to heat water, thereby reducing the site’s water consumption by 16%.

Product use

Consumers and patients need water to use many of our products - making a cup of Horlicks, brushing teeth, or to help swallow tablets.  We estimate that consumer use accounts for 13% of our water footprint - most from the water used in cleaning teeth.  In 2016, we continued to promote our 'Turn off the Tap' campaign on the Sensodyne UK website and by printing the logo on our Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste, to encourage people not to leave the water running while brushing their teeth. Consumer use of our products can potentially alter water quality, as well as quantity.  The pharmaceutical products they use are not always completely absorbed or broken down by the body, and residues can find their way into the environment - particularly  water courses - when medicines are excreted or disposed of.  We assess the environmental risk associated with patients' use of our products to help ensure that potential concentrations in the environment do not exceed safe levels.  This includes testing the active pharmaceutical ingredients for eco-toxic properties.  Since 2014, we have published data summaries of our environmental risk assessments for many of our products.