Over the next five years, P&G plans to limit the water used in manufacturing by 20%. And as the largest of the company’s five divisions, beauty and its supply chain will certainly be called on to help P&G meet the new efficiency objectives.
The same 20%-less goal has been set for packaging. Here the company plans to up the use of recycled resin in plastic containers and encourage recycling programs. Additionally, “P&G is working across its supply chain…to replace top petroleum-derived raw materials with renewable materials, as cost and scale permit.”
From production to distribution
“We are committed to driving positive change throughout the entire supply chain,” explained Len Saunders, vp of global sustainability, earlier this year when the company announced a no-deforestation initiative for sourcing palm oil.
The new goals reinforce that aim: “We continue to improve the environmental sustainability of our products across all aspects of their life cycle – from manufacturing, packaging and delivery through consumer use,” said Martin Riant, executive sponsor of sustainability and group president, global baby and feminine & family care.
Predictions and progress
Beyond 2020, the company has its sights set on outright sustainability and is working toward goals of 100% renewable energy and renewable or recycled packaging as well as eliminating all waste (manufacturing and consumer) from disposal in landfills.
P&G made progress from 2002 to 2012, reducing the water used in manufacturing by over 70%. Plus 70 P&G manufacturing facilities currently operate as zero-waste sites.
Since the 2020 goals were first announced in 2010, the company has altered its packaging in an effort toward environmental sustainability too, introducing bioplastics into some bottles.
Toward a sustainable industry
The trend toward ecological responsibility is very much consumer driven. The Union for Ethical Bio Trade reports that 80% of consumers are interested in how companies source ingredients.
P&G isn’t alone in responding to the demand. On the supplier side, Givaudan has set itself some goals, or rather “2020 eco-efficiency targets.” While Unilever’s green bond encourages investment in environmentally sustainable growth.