Virginie Helias' official title is chief sustainability officer at Procter & Gamble, but internally she likes to refer to herself as the "chief agitator officer." It's an apt moniker, as it sends a strong message to P&G's 97,000 employees that the same-old same-old will not do when it comes to how the CPG giant practices sustainability.
"Historically, there's been a tendency to look at sustainability as compliance — we do what we are supposed to do because it's the right thing," Helias says. "But [at P&G], it's about agitation, in terms of getting people outside their comfort zone. It's about driving sustainability as a competitive advantage."
P&G's sustainability goals, titled Ambition 2030, encompass four areas: brands, supply chain, society, and employees. To enable these goals, the company created two criteria, dubbed Brand 2030, for its brands to follow: brand ambition and brand fundamentals. Brand ambition asks P&G's "leadership brands," which represent 80 percent of the company's overall revenue, to put a strategic social or environmental commitment at the core of the consumer experience. Brand fundamentals include product and packaging innovation, leveraging brand voice, transparency in ingredients, and reducing the supply chain impact on the environment.