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P&G on the Lookout for "Sustainable Innovation" Products
March 28, 2008
March 28, 2008 - Proctor & Gamble aims to develop a $20 billion market over the next five years for what it calls "sustainable innovation" products - products that perform 10% better than their competitors in one of six environmental categories. Peter White, P&G's head of sustainability, told ClimateChangeCorp.com that the company is re-evaluating everything from detergents to diapers in an effort to create greener products that will appeal to consumers.
P&G is looking at products' environmental performance in the areas of energy consumption, water consumption, packaging, materials use, waste generation, and transport. The idea, according to White, is to determine which single category will deliver the most opportunity for improvement.
If you look at a detergent, the big impact in terms of energy use or CO2 emissions comes from the use phase. The biggest thing you can do in that product category is low temperature washing, he says. By contrast, "the biggest issue with Pampers is the amount of material that s used. If you look over the last 20 years, the weight of one nappy has gone down 40% and packaging has decreased by 80%.
White is careful to add that improvement in one category cannot be accompanied by a decrease in efficiency in any of the others.
Examples of P&G's sustainable innovation efforts include selling concentrated laundry detergent in smaller packages and reformulating detergent to clean at colder temperatures, which reduces energy use during the washing cycle. The market for the former has already been established - Wal-Mart announced in September that it would sell only concentrated liquid laundry detergent at its U.S. Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores.