P&G Changing Face Of Environmental Sustainability

Procter & Gamble is launching a massive, five-year plan to align product development with a more sustainable industry.

Specifically, the company will generate $20 billion in cumulative sales of products that have a reduced impact on the environment. In production and operations, the company will try to reduce CO2 emissions, consumption of resources, and waste per unit of production by 10%, which it says will amount to a 40% reduction in waste between 2002 and 2012.

Peter White, P&G's director of global sustainability, says products like Tide Cold Water or concentrated detergents will help contribute to $20 billion in cumulative sales of products with less environmental impact.

The company says its Braun shaving brand became the first shaving brand to receive the Energy Star qualification for battery charters. This year, the company launched Dash Cool and Clean detergent in Italy and Ariel Cool and Clean in the U.K., both of which are meant to be used with cold water. The launches were paired with consumer education campaigns aimed at getting consumers to consider the impact of their choices.



Len Sauers, manager, product safety and regulatory for the Cincinnati-based company, says that achieving $20 billion in revenue from sustainable products means every product segment will have to pitch in. "It would be reasonable that our fabric care products will be major drivers. But it will have to be really big ideas, like cold-water detergent and compacted products, such as Liquid Tide."

The latter product, the compaction of which will reduce the package by half, will replace the traditional packaging. As of 2008, Wal-Mart will carry only compact laundry detergent in its stores.

Sauers says that the message to consumers about such products will not be about the moral benefits of sacrifice since, "consumers don't have to make a trade-off. To be honest, we feel consumers can have it all; the intent with these products is to put something on the market that allows consumers to be environmentally sustainable by doing simple things.

"While the environmental benefits of cold-water detergents are staggering, consumers may buy them for a variety of reasons: environmental benefits, the amount of money they save, fabric care."

Sauers points out that P&G introduced Ariel Cool and Clean with a multi- pronged approach: the company touted the product's ability to save energy and money; its benefits vis à vis fabric care; and then environmental benefits. He says that in the U.S. the message around such products has been centered on their energy-saving benefits.

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