How P&G is tackling the major challenges thrown up by sustainability – Pt II

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sustainable cosmetics summit Sustainability

Pursuing a more sustainable business model throws up challenges, including the greenwashing pitfall and continuing to maintain improvements. We spoke to Jenny Rushmore, Global Sustainability Director, P&G Beauty & Grooming, to find how it is done.

The fact is that consumers have become much better informed, making it difficult to make a claim without substantiating it. As a consequence any company that does not do their homework before making a sustainability claim could well end up with egg on its face.

P&G Beauty & Grooming has been able to overcome this hurdle by making itself completely accountable through a dedicated website portal aimed at educating consumers about how the company’s eco-friendly initiatives are beneficial to the planet.

jenny rushmore P&G
Jenny Rushmore

“We have been issuing an annual Sustainability Report since 1999 which contains detailed information on our sustainability efforts, but we also run the Future Friendly program which helps to educate consumers on which products have been made more environmentally-friendly, and how they can use them in a way that conserves resources.,” said Rushmore.

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.

Rushmore is also likely to embrace the subject of how the company continues to constantly introduce new environmentally friendly initiatives, despite the fact that many of its manufacturing and logistical processes have already been finely tuned in recent years.

“Our technical organization has been focused on reducing our environmental footprint in manufacturing, and has already made great progress such as reducing the units of production for CO2 emissions by 11 percent, water use by 16 percent and solid waste by 50 percent since 2007,” Rushmore said.

However, building on these improvements is an on-going process and one the company is constantly striving towards through the setting of increasingly ambitious goals.

“We are still pushing much further though – we have set stretching goals for 2020, including using 30 percent renewable energy in our manufacturing and having less than 0.5 percent manufacturing waste,” Rushmore said.

“We’re also working with our 75,000 suppliers to improve their environmental footprint, and recently introduced our Supplier Environmental Sustainability Scorecard, which is a rating process to measure and improve the environmental performance of top 500 suppliers.

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

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