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Tom's of Maine

Goodness Report

Water

We think a lot about water. How can we help keep it clean and safe? How can we use less of it? Whether it's turning off the faucet while we brush or being more efficient when we make toothpaste, we recognize water is precious. In fact, our first product back in 1970 was a phosphate-free laundry detergent designed to keep pollutants out of waterways. These days our commitment remains strong and conservation is a way of life.

Stretching steam

Steam is a hot resource at Tom's of Maine. We use it at our manufacturing facility for everything from heating and cleaning to sanitizing. The trick is to be more efficient with the water we use to limit how much we need. We're now using technology that helps us do a better job of that. Here's how it works:

  • Heat clean water into steam
  • Condense it down again into water
  • Repeat cycle with same water for energy efficiency

Manufacturing Facility Operations Manager Peter Duquette gives an example of reusing steam

Making water work double-duty

Is our water working hard enough? When we asked that question, a better idea washed in. A thorough examination of water use at our manufacturing facility revealed a way to get more out of water before it goes down the drain.

  • Fresh, clean, hot water is required for sanitizing our equipment
  • After sanitizing, the same water finds a new life for cleaning purposes
  • Clean-in-place or CIP technology made reusing water in this way possible
  • With these measures, we expect to cut our water use in half

Piping in water reduction

When you put heads together, good ideas flow! Our team at our manufacturing facility in Sanford, Maine discovered a smarter way to handle water. They made a simple change to the way we deliver raw materials into mixing tanks to make Tom's of Maine products.

  • We used to channel raw materials through a single pipe into mixing tanks. We had to clean the pipe every time we switched materials.
  • Each material now has its own pipe so we don't have to keep using water to clean a single pipe over and over again

Showering to save

Nothing beats a nice, hot bath. But the fact is you'll probably use considerably less water in the shower. That's why we're changing the way we clean some of the equipment we use at our manufacturing facility.

  • For years we've been flooding big toothpaste "mixing bowls" with water to clean them after use
  • Better technology will allow us to do this cleaning with a showering spray — a projected savings of as much as 75% of the water previously used for flooding
  • Use of this technology will begin in 2014 on a small scale

Manufacturing Facility Operations Manager Peter Duquette says water is his favorite Goodness Report priority.

Progress snapshot

Water makes a big splash in just about everything we do at the Tom's of Maine manufacturing facility. We share a special appreciation for every drop we use and we continue to wonder how we can get more from less. Stepping back and taking a hard look at our use of water is already showing we are making progress and can do better.

From the fresh water we need for sanitizing to changing systems that help us reuse it for cleaning purposes, we expect to build on our achievements in the years ahead. Your ideas and the ideas of our partners combined with our own thinking amounts to an endless source of inspiration.

Water Goals Tracker

First slide

OUR GOAL: Reduce overall water consumption in our Sanford, ME manufacturing facility.

See full Goals Tracker »