P&G outlines broad sustainability plans

Dan Hockensmith

Published: October 4, 2010 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics In Print

Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co. has announced a sweeping sustainability effort — one likely to have far-reaching impact on the plastics industry.

The long-term goals announced Sept. 27 in a webcast by Cincinnati-based P&G were:

* All packaging will be made from renewable or recyclable materials.

* P&G's manufacturing plants to be powered with 100 percent renewable energy.

* Zero waste will go from P&G or its consumers to landfills.

* Products will be designed to both please consumers and maximize available resources.

Officials announced several goals to be reached by 2020, including:

* Replace 25 percent of all petroleum-based materials with “sustainably sourced” renewables.

* Reduce packaging.

* Engineer detergents so that all P&G products will work in cold water.

* Reduce overall company waste to less than 0.5 percent.

* Reduce truck transportation 20 percent.

During the webcast, Bob McDonald, P&G chairman, president and CEO, said the measures aim to grow the company's customer base to 5 billion by 2015, 1 billion more than the present base.

“What is important is that we don't treat environmental sustainability as different from our base business,” he said. “When we operate sustainably, we earn gratitude, admiration and trust that lead to opportunity, partnerships and growth.”

In a Sept. 27 e-mail, P&G spokeswoman Rotha Penn confirmed that the company's long-term vision is to eliminate all petroleum-based virgin plastic. P&G earlier this year announced plans to use Braskem SA's sugar cane-derived polyethylene in selected packaging for P&G's Pantene Pro-V, Covergirl and Max Factor products.

Len Sauers, P&G's vice president of global sustainability, said during the event that in the near term, P&G will install additional solar panels and wind turbines at its manufacturing plants in California and Europe. Also, a new P&G plant in the West will be powered by geothermal energy.

“Our new vision is a continuation of our sustainability initiatives and, in fact, we've already been working [on] some of its key points,” Sauers said.

He said current programs have allowed P&G since 2007 to reduce by 300,000 tons its packaging materials usage.

P&G plans to entirely eliminate PVC packaging within two years, he said.

P&G began to avoid the use of PVC in packaging in the early 1990s, Penn said. “Today, PVC represents less than 1.5 percent of the company's total use of plastic packaging materials,” she said.

“[The overall sustainability goals] won't be achieved in 10 years or perhaps even 40 years, but we will hold ourselves accountable to progress,” McDonald said.

P&G set up its sustainability division in 1999. In 2009, the company announced a goal of selling $50 billion in sustainability-driven products by 2012 — a goal that officials said they are close to meeting.

In May, the company launched a sustainability scorecard to measure and improve the environmental performance of its key suppliers.

Using measures similar to the packaging scorecard introduced in 2007 by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the P&G model will assess its suppliers' environmental footprints and encourage improvement by measuring year-to-year energy use, water use, waste disposal and greenhouse gas emissions.


Comments

P&G outlines broad sustainability plans

Dan Hockensmith

Published: October 4, 2010 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 – The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events