Procter & Gamble increases commitment to sustainability

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care company Carbon dioxide

Recently voted the most admired company in the industry, P&G is attempting to further increase its corporate image by pledging a greater stress on sustainability.

The company’s new plan of action is three-fold, placing further emphasis on innovative and sustainable products, reductions on emissions and utilities associated with the production process, together with a greater commitment to charity work focusing on education and sanitation in developing countries.

P&G has worked hard on its public image in recent years, attempting to forge an image of a caring and progressive company, while still retaining the title of being the world’s largest consumer goods company.

Fortune Magazine award

Most recently, its efforts were rewarded with the title of most admired personal care company, in a poll conducted by Fortune magazine, after industry observers and professionals deemed it to be the most socially responsible, best managed and innovative firm.

In a bid to hold on to this reputation, as well as providing a means of cutting back on costs during the challenging economic times, the company says its new sustainability program aims to meet all of its targets by 2012.

CEO A.G. Lafley said that the sustainability plan, which was established in 2007, is part of the company’s key strategy and underlines its commitment to conducting business in a ethical manner.

Bottom line is improved results

“By increasing sustainability goals, we demonstrate our ongoing commitment to innovate continuously to improve results,”​ he said when he announced the plans last Friday.

In making the announcement, Lafley said that the company would be committed to rolling out $50bn in cumulative sales of ‘sustainable innovation products’, which the company defines as those that have been produced with a reduced environmental footprint.

The company says that this means these products will represent a reduced environmental footprint greater than or equal to 10 percent, compared to previous or alternative products.

Reducing emission, waste and water

Likewise, the company is also targeting a 20 reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, energy consumption, water consumption and waste disposal, leading to a total reduction in all these categories of 50 percent up to 2010.

The company says that some of the benefits from these initiatives will be channeled into its Live, Learn and Thrive, a charity that provides both education and clean water through its Safe Drinking Water Program.

The aim will be to expand the reach of the program from 250 million children worldwide, to 300 million and to supply up to three billion liters of fresh water.

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