P&G employs scientists with diverse expertise related to fate, effects and risk assessments and life cycle assessments to ensure that there are no adverse effects of P&G laundry and cleaning products on the environment.
The Environmental Stewardship Organization (formerly Environmental Safety Organization) at P&G has been in existence since the late 1960s. For twenty years it was located almost exclusively in Cincinnati, Ohio in the United States. Today, the organization employs about 40 scientists worldwide, with approximately 20% of them working in Europe, primarily at the Brussels Innovation Center near Brussels, Belgium.
The Environmental Stewardship Organization at Procter & Gamble employs Ph.D. scientists in such diverse fields as environmental toxicology, microbiology, biodegradation, ecology, environmental engineering, analytical chemistry, microbial ecology, environmental modelling and life cycle assessments.
In addition to laboratory research, much of the expertise lies in computer-based applications such as exposure modelling, structure-activity relationships (SAR), probabilistic risk assessment, and geographical information systems (GIS).
Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) integrates a tiered approach to effects testing (from predictive models, to short-term testing, to long-term testing, to ecosystem tests) with a tiered approach to fate testing (from predictive models, to respirometry and benchtop sewage treatment simulation, to testing at realistic concentrations using radio-tracer substances, to measurement of actual concentrations in the environment).
In the 1990s, P&G expanded its in-house ecotoxicity testing and research capabilities with algae, invertebrates, fish and tissue cell cultures as well as its treatability and fate testing capabilities. Current testing capabilities include:
- Toxicity to aquatic plants using green algae and a microtiter plate test design
- Flow-through fish and invertebrate testing of substances
- Respirometry for biodegradation screening
Continuous Activated Sludge and "porous pot" testing for removability
- Benchtop septic tank model
Analytical chemistry support toxicity and fate testing (GC/MS, LC/MS, MS/MS, RAD-TLC, RAD-LC, RAD-GC, LSC, combustion analysis).