P&G Sells $13B in Green Goods, Cuts Waste by 30 Percent

P&G Sells $13B in Green Goods, Cuts Waste by 30 Percent

The Proctor and Gamble Co. (P&G) made headlines this spring by doubling its per-unit reduction goals for greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy use, and waste generation.

The company reported progress on these goals Monday, revealing that it has exceeded its waste disposal mark and is on track to meet its other targets. Between fiscal years 2007 and 2009, P&G reduced its waste disposal by 30 percent, energy use by 11 percent, greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent, and water consumption by 13 percent, according to its latest sustainability report titled, "Designed to Matter."

"We design our strategies and plans to ensure that the work we do makes a meaningful difference -- in the environmental footprint of our products and operation, in areas of the world where people most need our help, and in the lives of our employees and external partners," Bob McDonald, P&G president and CEO, wrote in the report.

Sales of P&G products with sustainable attributes reached $13.1 billion by fiscal year 2009, the company said. In March, the company pledged to sell $50 billion worth of sustainable products between fiscal years 2007 and 2012.

Products within this category have an environmental footprint that is at least 10 percent smaller than previous iterations or alternatives, such as its new Ariel Excel Gel, a laundry detergent sold in Western Europe that is made using up to 40 percent less water and 40 percent less energy. Improved packaging means 40 percent to 57 percent fewer trucks are needed to transport the product. It can also be used at low water temperatures, further trimming energy consumption during the use phase.

A wide-scale switch to more environmentally friendly products could have a large impact, P&G's Peter White told GreenBiz.com in 2008.

"If we could get everybody in the U.S. to wash at low temperature in cold water it would save around 3 percent of the total domestic energy consumption and would actually save somewhere around 6 percent of the country's greenhouse gas Kyoto commitment," White said.

The company pointed to a slew of examples that have helped P&G reduce its environmental impacts. For example, a series of improvements -- optimized HVAC systems, improved compressor and chiller management, adding timers to lights and site-wide steam trap inspection and replacement -- helped a facility in Ontario, Canada, reduce its total energy use by 20 percent.

A program is China is helping distribution facilities there keep 97 percent of scrap materials out of landfills by creating a recycling process for each category of P&G finished goods, such as re-using leftover facial cream components for leather care.