This article is sponsored by Procter & Gamble.
With an increasingly connected global economy, it’s very possible that ingredients in your favorite products are sourced from thousands of miles away. Even relatively simple products can have complex ingredient supply chains that span the globe.
An immense amount of planning and care goes into supply chain development as a critical business activity. At the same time, consumers are increasingly taking an interest in the environmental and social impact behind their favorite products and demanding more transparency from brands regarding their supply chains. In fact, research found that 94 percent of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers complete supply-chain transparency.
Over the past several years, major retailers have responded to this consumer demand by introducing programs such as Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly and Target Zero to help shoppers navigate an increasingly complex marketplace to identify products and brands that align with their values. Brands have responded as well. For Herbal Essences, central to driving maximum impact for people and the planet in the development and delivery of its products is meaningful partnerships with the world’s leading experts and organizations to reach shared goals. Partnership with our suppliers and non-profits is necessary for focus areas such as responsible sourcing, where local presence and community-level support make all the difference.
To that end, to support the responsible sourcing of guar — a natural polymer that enhances the performance to give consumers moisturizing and smoothing benefits in hair care and body wash products — P&G Beauty joined the Sustainable Guar Initiative (SGI) in 2021. The SGI was created by Solvay, a global ingredients supplier, to support and empower thousands of farmers and their families in the region of Rajasthan, India, an area responsible for 80 percent of the world’s guar production due to ideal growing conditions. The partnership with P&G Beauty not only doubled the reach of the program in the region, but it also equipped the farmers, many of whom are women, with tools and knowledge in good agricultural practices that promote higher-yield production, improve financial stability and support better living and working conditions. The program also supports the families of the farmers with tools and regular trainings on the importance of children’s education and health and hygiene best practices. Furthermore, it established a community-owned rainwater storage pond for household and irrigation purposes.
In its latest chapter, P&G’s Herbal Essence brand brought responsible sourcing to the forefront with a consumer engagement program supported by several retailers throughout the U.S. The "Plant. Grow. Nourish." program kicked off during Earth Month in collaboration with key retail partners, including Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger, Meijer, Rite Aid and Family Dollar. It benefits guar farmers with the goal of enabling increased food security through the creation of individual home-grown organic kitchen gardens. In partnership with the non-profit TechnoServe India, the program provides resources such as seeds, equipment and training on topics, including nutrition and best gardening practices to support the successful long-term cultivation of each farmer’s kitchen garden. Some examples of fruits and vegetables grown in these gardens include tomato, cucumber, cabbage, squash, okra, eggplant, radish, spinach and carrots.
At these participating retailers, consumers browsing the hair care aisle were invited to partake in supporting the farmers who are critical to the development of many of their favorite hair care products. In some stores, in-store or in-aisle displays shared that for every bottle purchased, the equivalent of one meal was provided through the "Plant. Grow. Nourish." program. Messaging was also pulled through on Herbal Essences’ website and amplified through social media partners who helped spread the word about the initiative, its impact and how and where consumers could participate.
While the program was activated primarily during April, the benefit for the farmers will be more far-reaching, with tools and knowledge that will serve them for years to come, long after the first kitchen garden crops are harvested. The benefit for the brand extends beyond the promotion as well; as Herbal Essences continues to invest in new ways to drive impact while meaningfully engaging retail partners and consumers, our learnings from "Plant. Grow. Nourish." will help inform the brand’s increasingly impactful work for the future.
For more information on Herbal Essences’ efforts or how P&G Beauty brands such as Herbal Essences are applying a systems-thinking approach to guide our environmental and social impact efforts, please visit HerbalEssences.com or us.pg.com/Responsible-Beauty. To learn more about the Sustainable Guar Initiative, please visit: Responsible Beauty: How Procter & Gamble is Using Guar (pg.com).