It’s more than sustainability. That suggests sustaining the way things are. We prefer to call it ‘Greenskeeping’, as guardians
of the environment and the communities
we do business with. We think about it as
another arm of innovation, not just to sustain things, but to make them better.
Q: How did this business philosophy sup-
port the choice of location and the inno-
vative design for the South Side Soapbox
plant in Chicago?
A: A traditional industrial approach could
have been to find a cornfield out in the middle of nowhere on super cheap land, build a
plant, and then hire a bunch of people from
the local suburbs to drive to work every day.
We took a very different view. We wanted
to build a LEED platinum status factory --
the highest level you can reach for a green
and sustainable plant as defined by the U.S.
Green Building Council. It had never been
done in the FMCG industry before.
Location plays a critical role in achieving
that status. We needed a location with the
maximum logistics infrastructure, which
is super important to us in the consumer
products sector. We also wanted to be in an
urban area. We wanted to build on a brownfield site and potentially clean it up and return it to a better state than we found it in.
And we wanted to be in a community where
we could make a positive impact.
After looking at 150 sites, only three met
those criteria. The South Side Soapbox site
in Chicago’s Pullman neighbourhood was
chosen as the best of these.
Q: How have you integrated key opera-
tions into the new plant?
A: Our supply chain strategy is focused on
integrating as many operations into our
facility as possible. Making the bottles,
packing and having distribution all under
one roof, was one of the primary drivers.
All those things are now happening in the
South Side Soapbox. It’s a fully-integrated
For example, shipping empty bottles
around the country to be filled in remote
manufacturing sites is one of the highest
sources of completely non-value-added
carbon. Early on we decided it was a “must”
Dialogue / Garry Embleton/ The Art of Mindful Manufacturing /4/8
Title: Global Vice President, Operations and
Supply Chain; General Manager, Asia Pacific ,
Education: BSc chemistry & economics, University of St Andrews, Scotland; Harvard Business
School Executive Program: Strategic Negotiation, Innovation Management; Wharton Business School Executive Program: Finance for Non-Finance Managers; INSEAD Business School
Executive Program: Global Brand Management
and Marketing; Center for Creative Leadership
Executive Program: Fundamentals and Advanced courses
Languages: English, French
Previous roles include:
- Chief Procurement Officer, SC Johnson
- Vice President, Global Strategic Sourcing, Sev-
- Director of Purchasing, The Clorox Company
- Director of Global Marketing and Innovation,
Rhodia Inc. (now Solvay Inc.)
- Product Development Manager, Procter & Gamble
Other Industry Roles and Awards:
- LEED Platinum Credential, U. S. Green Building
- HighAchiever Award Winner,Sustainability
Leadership, 2017 Manufacturing Leadership
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