Proctor & Gamble (P&G), the largest consumer packaged goods company in the world, is implementing a 2020 sustainability plan aimed at conservation and renewable resources that have a more positive impact on the environment. Launched in 2010, two of the plan’s three environmental areas include renewable resources and conservation of resources.
P&G define a renewable resource as one that is produced by natural processes at a rate comparable to the rate of consumption, including agriculture, forestry and energy. Renewable energy is any naturally occurring, continually replenishing source of energy such as solar, wind, biomass, or geothermal heat. The company’s long-term vision includes: using 100% renewable or recycled materials in all products and packages, and powering their plants with 100% renewable energy. P&G continues to progress toward this vision realizing it may take decades to achieve. For example, the company continues to expand their portfolio of renewable energy sources, which power approximately 7.5% of their plants, and they conduct research into replacements for petroleum-based materials.
The second priority area involves conserving resources by doing more with less. P&G is focused on manufacturing high-quality products in ways that use fewer resources across each phase of the product life cycle, using life cycle thinking to determine a product’s entire environmental footprint from the procurement of raw materials to the product’s use and ultimate disposal. Knowing most consumers are unwilling to make trade-offs in performance or price, P&G design products that conserve resources while maintaining product performance and value, in an effort to be more sustainable. The long-term conservation vision is to design and manufacture products that maximize the conservation of resources.
As of 2013, P&G has achieved the following:
|2020 Goal||2013 Progress|
|Plants are powered by 30% renewable energy.||Use of renewable energy is ~ 7.5%.|
|Replace 25% of petroleum-based materials with sustainably sourced renewable materials.||Successfully commercialized bioplastic in some shampoo bottles and are moving toward pilot scale operations for some other key material classes.|
|Reduce energy use at P&G facilities and total CO2 by 20% per unit of production by 2020.||Since 2010, reduced energy usage by 8% and total CO2 emissions by 11% per unit of production.|
|Reduce truck transportation kilometers by 20% per unit of production.||Since 2010, reduced truck transportation kilometers by approximately 12% per unit of production.|
|Reduce packaging by 20% per consumer use.||Since 2010, reduced packaging by ~ 4.5% per consumer use.|
Achieve a major improvement in the use of resources and materials and become a zero carbon company with respect to energy use.