P&G’s Purpose is to improve lives, now and for generations to come. Sustainability is intrinsically built into this purpose which drives and inspires everyone at P&G every day.

Sustainability is defined broadly at P&G as both environmental sustainability and social responsibility. P&G has set ambitious goals in environmental sustainability and social responsibility for 2020 and beyond and has already made significance progress towards achieving them.

Sustainability in the fast-moving consumer goods sector is much broader than reducing production impacts for a more sustainable environment. It entails sustainable consumer use, post-use, resource management and responsible engagement with consumers, the public and those in need. P&G has taken the lead in many campaigns to bring sustainable practices throughout the entire lifecycle across the range of its product categories.

  • P&G’s Environmental Sustainability Vision

    P&G’s long-term environmental sustainability vision works towards the following goals:

    • Powering plants with 100% renewable energy
    • Using 100% renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging
    • Having zero consumer and manufacturing waste go to landfills
    • Designing products that delight consumers while maximising the conservation of resources
    Through sustainable innovation, these long-term goals will be progressively attained with the first targets in their vision set for 2020 (see table). P&G will report on the progress annually.

    • Powering P&G’s plants with 100% renewable energy

      Although P&G is not an energy intensive company, by moving to 100% renewable energy to power its plants, fossil CO2 emissions will be even lower once petroleum-based energy sources are fully eliminated. Renewable energy sources are based on sun, wind, biomass, tides, and geothermal heat rather than fossil fuels. P&G’s vision is that all energy will be sourced from on-site renewable sources, or power from the grid that is generated by renewable sources.

    • Using 100% renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging

      A renewable resource is defined as one that is produced by natural processes at a rate comparable to its rate of consumption. P&G’s vision is to only use materials that are renewably sourced (from traditional sources such as biomass and agricultural products). Research is ongoing to understand how raw materials can be derived from biological processes such as fermentation. In addition to being renewably sourced, these materials must also be sustainable, meaning their production will not result in the destruction of critical ecosystems, loss of habitat for endangered species or other detrimental impacts on the environment or human communities.

    • Having zero consumer and manufacturing waste go to landfills

      P&G’s manufacturing waste can be disposed of in four ways: recycling, repurposing, waste-to-energy and landfill. The first three give value to the waste, whereas waste that ends up in landfills has no value. This is an important concern in the developing world where most waste is disposed of in uncontrolled dumps. Across the globe, especially in many developing countries, P&G has initiated a process for reducing waste to landfill. P&G’s vision is to eliminate waste-to-landfill and have all manufacturing waste end up in a valued waste stream (e.g., recycling, repurposing, waste-to-energy without toxic emissions).

    • Designing products that delight consumers while maximising the conservation of resources

      Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) have shown that for some major P&G products, the largest environmental impact occurs when consumers use the products. As the world’s largest consumer packaged goods company, P&G has enabled consumers to reduce their environmental footprint by designing products that meet their needs relative to value and performance and, in addition, allow them to conserve resources. Cold water laundry detergents, compacted products, reduced and recyclable packaging are examples where significant reductions in our ecological footprint have been made without any loss in consumer satisfaction. Consumer habit changes are often required to deliver the environmental benefits, and P&G has been a leader in driving a more sustainable consumer behaviour.
      Water has always been an important resource management concern. P&G will ensure sustainable water management in both the operations and consumer use of its products. This commitment includes water reduction goals, use of new technologies, product innovation using a Life Cycle Assessment, and siting decisions using a watershed approach, which looks holistically at water supply when deciding where a plant could be built.

  • Social Responsibility Vision

    P&G have hundreds of Social Responsibility Programmes worldwide that capitalise on its strengths in research, technical capacity, market scope, manpower and good will. Many of these programmes are brought together in Live, Learn and Thrive, P&G’s corporate cause, focusing on helping children in need around the world. The programs enable children to get off to a healthy start, receive access to education and build skills for life.

    • Live, Learn and Thrive

      Every second of every day, two children benefit from P&G Live, Learn and Thrive initiatives. By focusing on improving life for disadvantaged children and youth, P&G and its brands are able to focus attention on an area that is critically important, now and for generations to come.

      There are more than 100 Live, Learn and Thrive programmes taking place in over 60 countries every day. From providing life-saving vaccinations and safe water in Africa, to safe homes across Europe, to educational opportunities in Asia, to essential nutrition in North America, to early childhood development in Latin America… P&G aims to improve life for children and youth around the world.

      P&G employee commitment to Live, Learn and Thrive is a good example of P&G’s Social Responsibility Vision in practice.

      This commitment goes beyond P&G’s facilities. Every year, thousands of P&G employees worldwide personally commit to helping children and youth live, learn and thrive in their communities and beyond. Many employees volunteer their time or work in groups on team-building projects such as building playgrounds for children, teaching the importance of safe hygiene, or mentoring tweens and teens. And millions of dollars have been donated by employees with the goal of improving life for children and youth.

    • P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water

      Almost one billion people in the developing world do not have access to clean drinking water. As a result, thousands of children die every day. The P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) Program reaches these people through P&G’s PUR packets, a water purifying technology developed by P&G and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

      P&G research has developed a process where even the most polluted river water can be made safe to drink, quickly, easily and without any technological investment. One small packet of P&G’s PUR quickly turns 10 litres of dirty, potentially deadly water into clean, drinkable water. The packets can be used anywhere in the world, including areas affected by natural disaster.

      This Live, Learn and Thrive programme provides P&G’s PUR packets on a not-for-profit basis. Since the programme began, more than three billion litres of purified drinking water in more than 60 countries have prevented an estimated 120 million days of diarrheal illness and helped save more than 16,000 lives.

      CSDW works with over 100 partners to provide PUR packets. The programme responds to emergencies including cholera outbreaks, earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters. CSDW and its partners provide clean drinking water in schools, outreach to mothers in health clinics, clean drinking water for malnourished children and also help people living with AIDS.

  • P&G’s Sustainability Leadership

    Procter & Gamble has been a leader in environmental and social responsibility for over 50 years, before that vocabulary was fashionable. At each point along the road to sustainability, P&G has always been one of the first to act, whether it was in designing processes or methods for monitoring and assessing environmental impacts, innovating products to have a better eco-efficiency or using its global strength to be a significant driver for social development.
    P&G took a leadership role in the 1990s in defining Life Cycle Assessment models, developing environmental exposure models and new assessment tools that have since become industry standards. P&G also designed material content and waste management strategies for their packaging and paper products.
    The 90s also saw the beginning of environmental and sustainability communication efforts:
    1990: P&G articulates a company-wide environmental quality policy
    1993: P&G publishes its first annual Global Environmental Report
    1999: P&G releases its first annual Sustainability Report

    P&G has been recognised widely in the field of sustainability. Some recent accolades include:
    2000: ranked as sector leader, and has since remained in the top range, by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes
    2001: P&G has been listed every year since its inception in the FTSE4Good Index
    2005: P&G was awarded the Stockholm Industry Water Prize for providing safe drinking water
    2007: the EPA recognised P&G for its Children’s Safe Drinking Water programme
    2007: P&G received the Ron Brown award for corporate leadership
    2008: the EPA awarded P&G headquarters with the Energy Star certification
    2008: P&G is given the European Business Award for its commitment to corporate sustainability.
    2009: P&G was included in the 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2009, compiled by CRO (Corporate Responsibility Officer) Magazine.
    2009: P&G won the Asia Silver Award at the Global CSR Summit Awards

    P&G continues to lead in sustainability. Follow the progress every year with their annual Corporate Sustainability Reports.

The Head Line


Illustrations from P&G's Science-in-the-Box website can be used freely for educational, non-commercial purposes provided that the source will be published as follows: "Obtained from www.scienceinthebox.com (P&G website)"


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