Procter & Gamble (P&G), the parent company of brands like Gillette, Always, Olay, Tide, and others, is responding to environmental issues with partnerships, campaigns, and product changes to promote a greener future.
In comparison to other industries, the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry is somewhat conventional, with less emphasis on innovation and change. However, CPG products have enormous potential for more sustainable practices. The CPG industry faces three major challenges as it evolves its business model, especially as it transitions toward a more sustainable model.
Introducing circularity into the business model: While sustainability considers the effect on humans, the environment, and the economy as a whole, circularity focuses primarily on resource cycles. Rather than constantly producing new goods, a sustainable circular economy means creating and encouraging products that can be reused, restored, and remanufactured.
Avoiding the tokenization of sustainability: One of the big challenges consumer goods companies face is to convince existing consumers that new changes to packaging, manufacturing methods, etc. are aimed at improving sustainability, not just at creating more revenue.
Increased transparency: Companies should be ready to respond to customer inquiries to provide detailed reports on how the business is using natural resources.
In order to meet these challenges, P&G established the following two methods to contribute to promoting sustainability in the CPG industry.
Ambition 2030: In 2020, P & G announced its new ecological sustainability goals, which are intended to have a positive impact on the environment and society and create value for companies and consumers at the same time. As part of this initiative, P&G pledged to reduce its footprint and fight for circular solutions through three main goals: (1) Using 100% renewable energy and halving greenhouse gas emissions at P&G locations. (2) Increasing water efficiency in P&G locations by 35% and producing at least 5 billion liters of water. (3)Advancing at least 10 major supply chain alliances to boost climate, water, and waste circularity.
Project HolyGrail: P&G supports Project HolyGrail, which seeks to raise recycling rates in Europe through improving plastic sorting. P&G's dedication to the Holy Grail project has resulted in packaging that is both functional and recyclable.
Some specific examples are: (1) P&G's Fabric & Home care brands, including Ariel, Lenor, and Fairy dishwashing capsules bags switched from multilayer, non-flexible packaging to single layer, recyclable Polyethylene packaging. (2) Gillette and Venus have launched innovative and recycled packaging for their refillable razors, switching from plastic to recyclable cardboard packaging.
As shown by the latest steps and long-term goals of P&G, the company values disruptive, creative packaging and goods that meet their customers’ needs as well as promote sustainability in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry.
- By Minlo Lee (Academic Affairs Department)