P&G seeks to enhance environmental credentials

16 August 2010

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, is aiming to boost its green credentials by introducing eco-friendly packaging for a number of its leading brands.

The Cincinnati-based firm plans to utilise renewable plastics made from sugarcane for products in its Pantene Pro-V shampoo, Covergirl make-up and Max Factor cosmetics ranges.

As the material is "100% recyclable", its use would have considerable environmental benefits if implemented on a global scale.

P&G has collaborated with a specialist enterprise called Braskem on this scheme, which will be rolled out over the next two years, as the first repackaged goods hit store shelves in 2011.

The company has taken a similar approach throughout its R&D operations, a consequence of a wider corporate objective attempting to leverage the opportunities provided by open innovation.

"[This] represents another step in P&G's commitment to environmental sustainability and the development of sustainable innovation products," Len Sauers, Procter & Gamble's vp, global sustainability, said.

"P&G is making significant progress in environmental sustainability through our work with external partners. Together, we are working on creative solutions that deliver science-based sustainable innovations."

Having launched a campaign seeking to educate 50m households in the US about how they can save energy earlier in 2010, the owner of Tide and Pampers stated its latest idea should meet the new demands of shoppers.

"This innovation is truly consumer-driven," Gina Drosos, group president, of Procter & Gamble's global beauty arm.

"With this new packaging innovation, women can have confidence that their favourite brands are helping to make a difference."

Marc Pritchard, P&G's global brand building officer, has spoken at length regarding the need to engage with customers on major issues such as sustainability.

Jason Clay, svp of market transformation at the World Wildlife Fund in the US, suggested P&G could have identified one way of achieving this goal.

"P&G's commitment to use renewable bio-derived plastic in its global beauty and grooming product packaging is an important step forward in its efforts to improve the environmental profile of its products," he said.

Coca-Cola, the soft drinks specialist, has previously achieved substantial success by following just this kind of model in Japan. (Warc subscribers can read a case study here.)

Its I LOHAS water brand is contained in a bottle made with plant extracts, and assumed a leading position in its category three month after launch.

Data sourced from Procter & Gamble; additional content by Warc staff