P&G: consumers and accountability key to success on sustainability - Pt I

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sustainable cosmetics summit, Sustainability

CosmeticsDesign spoke to Jenny Rushmore, Global Sustainability Director, P&G Beauty & Grooming, who, in the first of a two-part interview explains more about her division’s no nonsense approach to sustainability.

As one of the best recognized and biggest cosmetic and personal care players in the world, P&G’s sustainability efforts are inevitably under the microscope, a situation that Rushmore says brings both responsibility and significant opportunity.

jenny rushmore P&G
Jenny Rushmore

“Programs like packaging weight reduction on our leading brands, and reducing the footprint of our manufacturing can make significant environmental impacts,”​ said Rushmore. “For instance, we have reduced the packaging weight of Gillette Fusion, Olay Total Effects pump moisturizer and our Braun line-up by over 10 percent, which all add up to major material reductions.

“We also have the scale to not only address environmental issues but take a part in helping solve them. This is one of the reasons why we developed a new environmental vision for sustainability as a company, which includes using 100 percent renewable energy in our manufacturing, 100 percent renewable or recycled material in our products and packaging, and sending zero waste to landfill.”

Consumer and employee involvment

A testimony to the company’s focus on sustainability is a dedicated website section that details some of the company’s biggest projects in this area, highlighting areas such as environmental and social responsibility and employee engagement in the projects. For more information, click here.

One of the company’s most recent projects, launched towards the end of last year, was the P&G Future Friendly with Recyclebank, a scheme designed to encourage and educate consumers about the importance of recycling household waste, including packaging.

“We’ve found out that many consumers don’t recycle their beauty product packaging – in a recent survey we ran in the US, only 22 percent of consumers said that they always recycle their bathroom packaging,”​ said Rushmore.

“This is a missed opportunity, because many beauty packages can be recycled – consumers should always check with their local authority first, but materials like #1 and #2 plastics are often recyclable, and they are used in products like Pantene Pro-V and Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioners” .

Forthcoming presentation at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit

Underlining some of P&G’s groundbreaking initiatives in the area of sustainability, Rushmore is preparing to give a key speech at the forthcoming Sustainable Cosmetics Summit​, to be held in New York from May 12 – 14.

During the presentation, entitled, ‘P&G Sustainability Strategies: the Power of Purpose,’she will discuss the key issues of involving the consumer in the sustainability process and helping to improve the lives of generations to come.

“This purpose has really guided all of P&G’s decisions for over 170 years, and it’s powerful because it transcends our business and financial goals,”​ explained Rushmore.

“We added the statement ‘now and for generations to come’ in 2007 when we updated our sustainability goals and strategies to reflect the fact that it’s critical that we grow with these consumers in a responsible way – there’s no point in growing our business today at the expense of tomorrow.”

For more details about Organic Monitor’s Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, please click here​.

Related topics: Packaging & Design

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