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P&G Smashes 2020 Goals, Raises the Bar with 'Ambition 2030'

In early 2017, P&G's Head & Shoulders brand launched the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle made from up to 25 percent recycled beach plastic. | Image credit: Head & Shoulders/YouTube

The Procter & Gamble Company today announced it has achieved many of its 2020 environmental sustainability goals, has plans in place to meet the rest and has established new, broad-reaching goals for 2030. With "Ambition 2030,” P&G aims to enable and inspire positive impact on the environment and society while creating value for the Company and consumers.

“We believe P&G can be a force for good and a force for growth, and we are taking a more deliberate approach to delighting consumers while enabling responsible consumption,” said David Taylor, P&G’s Chairman, President and CEO. “Consumers expect the brands they trust to deliver superior performance and to also help solve some of the most complex challenges facing our world. Our global reach, our understanding of the five billion consumers we serve, and our innovation capabilities give us a unique ability to make a positive difference.”

“Ambition 2030” focus areas:

Chief Brand Officer,
Marc Pritchard,
will discuss
The Road to
Sustainable Consumption

SB'18 Vancouver
  • Brands: P&G’s 20 leadership brands — including Always, Ariel, Dawn, Fairy, Febreze, Head & Shoulders, Pantene, Pampers and Tide — will aim to enable and inspire responsible consumption through packaging that is 100 percent recyclable or reusable; and build even greater trust through transparency, ingredient innovation and sharing its safety science.
  • Supply Chain: P&G will cut greenhouse gas emissions in half at its manufacturing sites and purchase enough renewable electricity to power 100 percent of its plants. The company will also source at least 5 billion liters of water from circular sources. 
  • Employees: P&G will engage, equip and reward employees for building sustainability thinking and practices into their everyday work, by rewarding progress and integrating recognition into performance assessments.
  • Society: P&G will continue to create transformative partnerships that enable people, the planet and our business to thrive, including those that stem the flow of plastic into the world’s oceans, protect and enhance forests, expand recycling solutions for absorbent hygiene products, and protect water in priority basins around the world.

“Building on our progress to date, our 2030 goals seek to address two of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges: finite resources and growing consumption,” said Virginie Helias, VP of Global Sustainability. “We know P&G alone does not have all the answers. It will take partnerships and collaboration to make meaningful progress and our brands will develop innovations to take responsible consumption to the next level.”

We spoke with Helias to dig deeper into P&G’s new goals:

Re the announcement of Ambition 2030, you acknowledged the importance of partnerships and collaboration to make meaningful progress toward sustainability goals. Have these new goals inspired new collaborations/partnerships? If so, with whom and in what areas?

"Challenges such as climate, water and waste are bigger than any one company. As we move forward, we will be looking to collaborate with industry, governments, civil society groups and academics to help advance our efforts. One such relationship is with The Ocean Project, which we just announced. We are a Founding Partner of Youth for the Ocean, a new collaborative initiative that will help drive youth awareness of the importance of a healthy ocean and how everyone can help, including educating youth about plastic pollution issues and solutions, drive action by mobilizing a youth constituency to prevent plastic pollution and help clean up communities and coasts, and elevate coastal and ocean health as a political priority. We are also a major sponsor of World Oceans Day, a global celebration officially recognized by the United Nations, aimed at reaching millions of people worldwide to become more aware, educated and actively engaged in creating a healthier ocean and the waterways that connect to it."

The goals under Society and Employees are more qualitative — how will P&G gauge success in these areas?

"We track and measure all we do. For our Employees focus area, sustainability is now part of all business plan reviews. It can no longer be an afterthought, and our leaders are now incorporating this into their strategies. We have developed a detailed plan across all levels and organizations to engage P&G employees in how they can embed social and environmental sustainability in the work they do.  We already communicate key efforts on an annual basis and will measure our progress through our annual employee survey.

"As noted for Society, our collaboration with key partners will drive our progress, but by their very nature, collaborative efforts take time to develop and define specific objectives and impact measures. Therefore, as we go forward, we will continue to work with key partners to define more specific impact measures for each of the efforts we undertake."

Last year, the theme of our flagship event was “Redefining the Good Life” — you said you were excited about P&G’s role in ‘creating new aspirations for people to desire to live a better and more sustainable life.’ This year’s theme is similar, but more specific — “Redesigning the Good Life” — how will Ambition 2030 help P&G lead in this area? 

"Today, consumers want the brands they use to have a positive impact on the world. Our brands have the power to redesign the “The Good Life” by enabling and inspiring responsible consumption. This involves using our brand’s voice to promote responsible communication and our innovation capabilities to make sustainable innovation irresistible. Serving five billion consumers gives us the unique opportunity to promote conversations, influence attitudes, change behavior and help the people who use our brands have a positive impact. This is how we hope to redesign the Good Life – through our brands and enabling responsible consumption."


P&G has already achieved many of its sustainability goals for 2020, in the areas of climate (reduced absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent since 2010), water (reduced water use in manufacturing facilities by 27 percent since 2010), and waste (achieved zero manufacturing waste to landfill for more than 80 percent of manufacturing sites). 

The impact of the Company's progress can be seen across brands and geographies, including products such as Tide Purclean — which includes bio-based ingredients — and Head & Shoulders, which in 2017 launched packaging made from recycled beach plastics; manufacturing innovations that power its plants with wind electricity and steam from biomass; and research innovations that will transform the recyclability of tons of plastic each year, benefitting entire industries.

This progress is further detailed in the Company’s 2017 Citizenship Report.

Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]

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