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P&G Promises 15 Billion Liters of Clean Water, 30% Fewer Emissions by 2020

Image Credit: P&G

Last week, Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced two new 2020 goals: delivering 15 billion liters of clean drinking water through its Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program (CSDW) and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its facilities by 30 percent.

P&G says the CSDW program has already delivered over nine billion liters of clean water to reduce illness caused by contaminated water and help save lives in developing countries since it was established in 2004. To deliver 6 billion liters more by 2020, P&G will launch more than 25 new projects.

“Having clean drinking water is something many of us take for granted, but is a daily challenge for many families around the world,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G’s Chief Brand Officer. “P&G is proud to use our cleaning technology to help make a difference in people’s lives, and we are looking forward to expanding the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program to have an even greater impact.”



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P&G distributes its water-purifying technology through over 150 partners. Each P&G Purifier of Water packet can clean 10 liters of dirty water in 30 minutes – enough drinking water for a family of five for one day.

Universal coverage for safe drinking water is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals scheduled for approval at the UN General Assembly later this month. The assembly is part of a larger negotiation process leading up to COP 21 in Paris, where government representatives will negotiate a new agreement on climate change in hopes of preventing a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius.

P&G worked with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to establish an emissions-reduction target that would support global efforts to meet the 2 degree centigrade goal. The company is also joining the Climate Savers Program, a program sponsored by WWF to enable collaboration between companies to accelerate their efforts to address climate change.

“Climate change is a global issue and we believe everyone – companies, governments, and individuals – all have a role to play,” said Len Sauers, VP of Global Sustainability at P&G. “We felt it was important to come forward with an ambitious, science-based goal to help do our part to address the challenges that climate change poses.”

“We recognize P&G for its leadership in setting a reduction target that is grounded in climate science,” said Suzanne Apple, SVP of Private Sector Engagement at WWF. “This is a significant commitment that will lead to measurable reductions in P&G’s greenhouse gas emissions while inspiring other companies to step up and take action. We are pleased to welcome P&G as the newest member of our Climate Savers Program, which serves to recognize industry leaders who are pursuing innovative and cost effective solutions to climate change.”

P&G plans to reduce GHG emissions from its facilities by 30 percent by 2020 by maintaining a focus on energy conservation and increasing its use of renewable energy. Group President of P&G and executive sponsor for Global Sustainability Martin Riant noted they also expect these energy initiatives “will not only drive emission reductions, but will decrease costs and help create innovative solutions that will help our brands win with consumers.”

While looking to energy-efficiency initiatives is not exactly an awe-inspiring, ground-breaking technique, the new GHG target represents the latest component of P&G’s growing sustainability portfolio. This year, the company has called on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to strengthen its standards, launched a supplier assessment scorecard in partnership with Ecodesk, committed to reducing food waste with The Consumer Goods Forum, and increased the use of recycled plastic in its product packaging.

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Hannah Furlong is one of Sustainable Brands's Contributing Writers, based in Canada. She is researching the circular economy as a Master's student in Sustainability Management at the University of Waterloo and holds a Bachelor's in Environment and Business Co-op. Hannah… [Read more about Hannah Furlong]


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