P&G to make products and operations greener

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Proctor and Gamble (P&G) has announced its plans to improve the
environmental profile of its products and operations, promising to
reduce CO2 emissions by a further 10 percent by 2012.

The consumer products manufacturer - with net sales in 2007 of $76 bn - plans to generate at least $20 bn in cumulative sales of products with reduced environmental impact over the next five years, in an attempt to improve the environmental profile of its products. Peter White, director for global sustainability at P&G called this an innovation goal -attempting to foster environmentally friendly innovation from its product designers across all product categories. White told CosmeticsDesign.com that for a product to qualify it would need to show a 10 percent reduction across the life cycle in CO2​ emissions, energy and water consumption or packaging material. Presenting the goal as a financial target makes it strategic and fundamental for the business, White explained. "It is a goal in business terms"​ he said. In addition, the company states it will continue to improve the environmental profile of P&G operations, by reducing CO2 emissions, energy and water consumption and disposed waste by a further 10 percent per unit of production. This would amount to a total reduction of 40 percent over the decade 2002-2012. Furthermore, the company have altered its operating principles, adding that the company will 'incorporate sustainability into our products, packaging and operations'. According to White the company purpose and operating principles are "like the DNA of the company"​ and the new changes are building sustainability firmly into the company. P&G has also promised to continue with its social responsibility programs such as the Live Learn and Thrive corporate cause and Children's Safe Drinking Water program. P&G is not alone in its attempts to improve the sustainability and environmentally friendly nature of its operations. Companies are increasingly becoming aware of environmental issues and the marketing opportunity that sustainability may hold. Within the cosmetics industry a growing number of companies are discussing the possibilities of going carbon neutral, such as Weleda and the Body Shop, and philanthropic or charitable projects are becoming increasingly popular with companies attempting to make their operations more ethical.

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