- Powering plants with 100% renewable energy
- Using 100% renewable or recycled materials in all products and packaging
- Having zero consumer or manufacturing waste go to landfills
- Desiging products that delight customers while maximizing the conservation of resources
These will obviously be difficult goals to achieve and will require changes not only in the business, but also in infrastructure. Hopefully in attaining 100% renewable energy, P&G will be able to exert its influence on energy providers to increase the amount of this type of energy used in their production. I was particularly impressed by the third one in the list. I think its great that they are considering manufacturing waste and that makes a lot of sense. I think P&G goes a step beyond what is expected of them when they consider consumer waste ending up in landfills. In particular I think that most companies ignore the impact of their products once they have fulfilled the primary needs of the consumers who purchased them, but P&G is even considering the long term affects of their products on the environment. Now in some industries considering the environmental impact post-use is an obvious step such as the manufacture of thermometers and the use of mercury, but in general I don’t believe many CPG companies are aware or at least paying close attention to this. I think it would be great to see P&G not only designing products that can more easily be recycled, but also informing their consumers about the need and procedure to recycle these products (especially considering most states still do not recycle).
One interesting issue related to the increasing practice of environmental sustainability is if and how companies should communicate their efforts to consumers. I think many consumers are wary of companies jumping on the “green” bandwagon and yet it is important that consumers be educated about the products they buy and thereby the companies they support. We can see this already with ratings like EnergyStar, which communicates to consumers that the electronics they have purchases cut down on energy usage in comparison to similar devices. So, we have examples of consumer information on particular products, but it seems less obvious, or at least less mainstream to hear people talk about the particular energy efficiencies or environmental awareness of the parent companies and their operations. I realize of course that this assignment delivered lists of just such companies, but I don’t believe consumers think on these terms with the same prevalence of judging individual products.
I found an article on LexisNexis called: “Make sustainability the icing on your product’s cake” By Jonathan Weeks and Laura Furniss brandrepublic.com