As the makers of Purell, GOJO is well known in offices, manufacturing sites, and across CoVest Members as being a preferred OEM partner, its demand grew exponentially as a critical need during the pandemic. The CoVest team recently had the opportunity to tour the GOJO Wooster, Ohio plant and distribution center to get an up-close look at their operations and expansive growth. With an unyielding commitment to quality, revolutionary automation, and sustainable innovations, GOJO has established itself as a trusted hygiene solution.
Commitment to Quality
From local beginnings to now five Ohio facilities, and a presence in the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, and France, GOJO has grown significantly due to its commitment to quality products, innovation, and the ability to rise to any challenge. Learn more about GOJO’s history here.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, waterless, ethanol-based cleaning products like Purell became more essential than ever. The demand for Purell for frontline workers, government institutions, manufacturers, businesses, and households skyrocketed. As a result, GOJO ramped up operations, opened new facilities, and greatly increased infrastructure and automation to respond to unprecedented times. By April 2020, the fever-pitch demand for their high-quality Purell formula resulted in supply chain challenges. Finding a source for quality-grade ethanol, a key ingredient for Purell production, became a strenuous process.
Unwavering to lower quality ethanol and committed to their high standards, GOJO developed a new and local partnership with 3 Rivers, a renewable energy company specializing in the creation of renewable natural gas (RNG) from waste. GOJO used this local source of high-grade ethanol to respond to the market demand for products like Purell Hand Sanitizer, Surface Spray, and Wipes. GOJO removed logistics constraints that limited their ethanol access and ensured their commitment to safe, effective, and quality standard practices. Today, their partnership with 3 Rivers continues to be a reliable source that helps support their growing operations.
With new infrastructure at their Wooster facility, GOJO now has the capacity to produce up to 1 billion pounds of Purell a year or 6-8 million pounds a month. As an essential supplier to front-line healthcare workers, first responders, manufacturers and government facilities during the pandemic, GOJO’s new capability to accelerate their production efforts was crucial. By the end of 2021, GOJO produced 70 million pounds of Purell – half of which went to emergency response.
Post-pandemic, GOJO shows no signs of slowing down. The need for visible hygiene is on the rise. Revolutionizing their original portion-control dispenser design, GOJO has a new line of dispensers and stands that are reliable, easy to maintain, and customizable with your branding. Whether you’re looking to utilize their Clean Release technology within your warehouses or you’re seeking customizable soap and hand sanitizer stands that promote your brand in high visibility locations, GOJO has various options that meet your needs.
GOJO’s innovations don’t stop at their dispenser technology. In addition to their commitment to sourcing quality materials, GOJO has high standards in their production facilities. Their Wooster facility has become an automation powerhouse; from multiple quality assurance checks to automated controls and safety practices, their advancements in technology and innovation promote efficiency, quality, and safety. The exapansize 1.3 million square foot Wooster facility has underwent an industrial transformation, from manual inputs to controlled automation. This transformation has made their business more robust and efficient, with decreased human/product interaction and a reduction of potential safety hazards.
With a focus on plastics and sanitizer, GOJO’s Wooster location can create their highly sought-after Purell hand sanitizer and produce their own bottles and pumps. Being able to produce all components of their product in-house with end-to-end assembly, increases the speed at which GOJO can get their inventory out to CoVest Members and other customers.
In the past, the production workers would spend 60-70% of their time focused on finding and moving product. With end-to-end assembly, the machines now have color-coded inserts that components are automatically placed into, ensuring each piece is in the correct position for the next step in the production process. As a result, employees can focus on more imperative jobs while the machine can perform rapid, redundant tasks through automation. This applies to ‘order picking’ as well. Because the automation process can label products with shipping information, brand packaging for individual customers, and deliver ordered items from around the facility directly to its shipping pallet, GOJO has gained incredible efficiencies and reduced human interaction to only critical steps in the production process.
A large and growing number of manufacturers are realizing substantial financial and environmental benefits from sustainable business practices. With the opening of their Wooster facility, GOJO had a clean slate to incorporate more sustainable initiatives in their production process and they took full advantage, starting with their 2,000 solar panel field. Producing more than 725 megawatt-hours of renewable energy, GOJO’s solar panel field provides enough energy to power the facility’s distribution operations or about half of the plant’s floor space.
GOJO gives an impressive physical demonstration of their commitment to sustainability through projects like Sustainable Ways of Working (SWOW), green chemistry, and sustainable packaging. In a focused effort to move away from corrugated materials, GOJO has begun the process of converting over to reusable containers throughout their facilities.
With a goal to reduce enterprise solid waste by 20% and ensure 100% of primary packaging is recyclable, reusable, or industrially compostable in the next 5-7 years, GOJO is committed to social, environmental, and economic sustainability. An area of focus for GOJO is Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR). Targeting closed-loop manufacturing, Gojo is working toward incorporating unused plastic bits in their production process. The goal is to reduce the amount of waste while still keeping the high-quality product containers that GOJO customers are familiar with.
GOJO’s sustainable actions are highlighted in their products as well. GOJO’s Multi Green line is a USDA-Certified Biobased product that gently cleans with natural citrus degreasers and pumice scrubbers to get your hands clean. Ideal for heavy manufacturing, automotive service and repair, construction, utilities, and mining industries, this 95% biobased content hand cleaner is formulated for maximum cleaning power on a wide variety of soils.
Making Life Better Through Well-Being Solutions
In the past 7 years, GOJO has transformed its Wooster facility into a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant that is now the largest hand sanitizer plant in the world. Today, millions of people around the globe rely on PURELL products to help them stay healthy and well every single day.
Contact Us to Learn More
As a CoVest Member, you can gain access to our OEM preferred partner program with GOJO. This program helps global organizations reduce costs, keep industrial and office facilities clean and safe, promotes well-being and healthy practices among employees and offers product consolidation. Contact the CoVest team today to learn about how your company can take advantage of our supplier agreements and OEM partnerships today.
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