Meeting goals for sustainability brings P&G 'green' benefits

By Chris BARKER

- Last updated on GMT

Meeting goals for sustainability brings P&G 'green' benefits
Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble announces it has reached most of its goals in sustainability for 2013, bringing the company benefits both in savings and ‘green’ image.

Among developments in the field of personal care and beauty products, the firm has succeeded in cutting costs by reducing water and energy use in its manufacturing locations, as well as converting its Gillette brand packaging to recyclable.

P&G is particularly interested in improving its sustainability standing in order to respond to consumer demand for ‘green’ products.

On the other hand, the Head & Shoulders brand owner is making slow progress in moving to the use of sustainable palm oil, with only 13% of production in this area compared to a goal of 100% by 2020.

Company CEO A.G. Lafley commented: “P&G is a company of brands. We earn consumers’ trust with the promise each of our brands makes to improve people’s lives and product usage experiences.”

“Our success depends on our ability to understand the consumer- who is our boss…People have told us that they want sustainable products with no tradeoffs. They want products that don’t ask them to pay more or expect less.”

Efficiency and energy savings

P&G has made a number of efficiency savings by bringing in ‘green’ practices in its manufacturing. Among other improvements, the personal care products factory at Oxnard has reduced water use by a quarter, saving the company nearly $1m on an annual basis.

Plants were converted to use 7.5% renewable energy, with a long-term goal of converting facilities to be 30% powered by this source.

In keeping with its goal of meeting consumer demand for green products, the Ohio-based firm reduced its packaging use and introducing higher levels of environmentally friendly practices: for example, Gillette is now packed in recyclable material and manufactured using 26% less plastic, and plastic use per consumer has gone down.

Lafley commented:  “In addition to having a positive environmental impact, these efforts have created over $1 billion in value for P&G in sales and cost savings.”

Sustainable palm oil

The company has committed to converting to 100% sustainable palm oil, and it has stated that it is currently on track to reach its planned goal of having all of its supplies RSPO certified by 2015, despite being some way off that at present.

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