P&G has recognized that there are three pillars needed to support its sustainable development strategy. These include environmental protection, economic development, and social responsibility (MacNealy, 2007).
Summary and Future Research Recommendations
Procter and Gamble's commitment to sustainability has been shown by its development of new products. Product development is geared towards the preponderance of consumers who would like to improve sustainability outcomes without comprising value or quality. During 2008, Procter and Gamble was able to diminish packaging waste by changing many of their standard carton packaging to a fully recyclable seal tight plastic material packaging. This modification in packaging has resulted in an 80% decrease in the amount of packaging that is being used compared to carton packaging (Lloyd, 2009).
Environmental forces disclosed by Procter and Gamble have included water usage, energy usage, carbon emissions and total waste. The company has reported that energy use at its household care plant in Canada has decreased by 20% through upgrades to plant apparatus. Procter and Gamble has also highlighted the seemingly impressive 86% decrease in waste achieved at their Bangkok beauty care plant, which resulted from a waste de-watering process reducing the volume of waste material. It is not disclosed though whether this procedure will be replicated at other Procter and Gamble manufacturing operations around the world (Lloyd, 2009).
Many projects in the developing world have promoted from the assistance of Procter and Gamble. In combination with the United Nations, vaccinations to protect against maternal and neo-natal tetanus have been made accessible for mothers and babies in developing countries. Consumers of the Pampers brand of nappies have assisted Procter and Gamble's efforts with the purchase of one pack of Pampers nappies providing one vaccination. Safe drinking water and hygiene crusades have also been funded with the aid of consumer purchases of selected Procter and Gamble products. Projects to boost access to education, including Protecting Futures: Keeping Girls in Education which has provided sanitary protection products so that girls can remain in school are highlighted in their sustainability program (Lloyd, 2009).
Employee commitment initiatives along with encouraging employees to take individual responsibility for sustainability matters by reducing waste, travel and energy use and the Live, Learn and Thrive program has provided many opportunities for employees to participate in volunteering. Other employee engagement practices have included an idea challenge in India and sustainability educational presentations from senior management associates. Procter and Gamble has said that that it is committed to being part of the answer in relation to sustainability. To that end, the company has taken part in an assortment of stakeholder and industry joint projects including product safety, climate change and assisting the developing world (Lloyd, 2009).
Similar to other large and multi-national organizations, Procter and Gamble's corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives are comprised of a mixture of waste minimization and reducing use of natural resources, assistance to communities in the developing world through increasing access to the organization's products and increasing employee engagement through projects including employee volunteering schemes (Lloyd, 2009).
Research has established that the large majority of the resources that are used by consumer products happen not in manufacturing, shipping or at their end of life, but in how they're used at home. In order to help decrease the overall impact of these goods, and to help individuals lower their environmental forces, Procter & Gamble has launched in the United States its Future Friendly campaign. The Future Friendly campaign has been in place in the United Kingdom and Canada since about 2007. It is a multi-brand and multi-platform effort in order to raise awareness about greener products and greener practices. In addition to displaying the Future Friendly logo on the packages, P&G is also working to inform its customers on how best to decrease the impact of their...
This can be seen in the fact that nearly 80% of the energy used in the typical load of laundry comes from heating the water for the washing machine. Using cold water, and a Future Friendly product like Tide Coldwater, can help people to save that energy and cut their home energy bills at the same time (P&G Launches U.S. Campaign to Highlight 'Future Friendly' Products, 2010).
Products that carry the Future Friendly label have begun to appear in retail stores around the country. P&G has also been promoting the campaign through television and newspaper ads. The goal that P&G has is to provide conservation education to at least 50 million U.S. households by the end of 2010. With Future Friendly, they are trying to inform mainstream consumers on how to protect natural resources in their homes. These consumers don't want any apparent declines in performance or increases in price. As an alternative, they want to buy the brands they already know and trust and comprehend how using these products, and adopting other simple behavior changes within their homes, can help them lower their force on the environment (P&G Launches U.S. Campaign to Highlight 'Future Friendly' Products, 2010).
Along with the Future Friendly campaign, Procter & Gamble has also released the results of a survey that was conducted with Ipsos Public Affairs. This survey documented the state of the green marketplace. Among the findings of the study include the facts that:
Nearly three in four consumers report that they would switch to another brand if it helped them conserve resources without having to pay more and a similar amount reported they would recommend the product to others.
More than a third of consumers said that they don't feel that they have enough information about what the top reason is that prevents them from leading a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
A preponderance of consumers would be very likely to change the way they do things daily if it helped them decrease waste, save energy and save water in their homes.
Saving money was the most regularly mentioned reason for why consumers take measures to reduce waste, save energy and save water in their home followed closely by preserving resources for future generations.
Procter & Gamble has been focused on greening its operations and its products for a long time. In 2009, the company extended the number of concentrated laundry detergents it offers, won a green chemistry award for green chemicals, joined the Carbon Efficient Index of firms that are working to reduce their carbon footprints, and doubled its environmental goals for 2012 (P&G Launches U.S. Campaign to Highlight 'Future Friendly' Products, 2010).
By concentrating on their social investments to improving life for disadvantaged children and youth, P&G and along with their brands is able to focus their attention on an area that is critically important, now and for many generations in the future. There is a tremendous need in this critical area, as millions of children around the world live in very bad conditions. By focusing their expertise, technologies, and resources in order to address these issues, they can help children get off to a healthy start, receive access to education, and build skills for life (Live, Learn and Thrive Overview, 2010).
Live, Learn and Thrive is a truly global program, consisting of more than 100 initiatives taking place in over 60 countries every day. These programs range from providing life-saving vaccinations and safe water in Africa, to providing safe homes across Europe, to educational opportunities in Asia, to necessary nutrition in North America, to early childhood development in Latin America. P&G is continually aiming to improve life for children and youth around the world. They believe that companies can be a force for good in the world, and this is who they are as a global corporate citizen. Live, Learn and Thrive can be seen throughout their philanthropy, cause marketing, product donations, disaster relief, and employee engagement. The cause is a reflection of their Purpose, and it embodies their goal of being closer to consumers from all walks of life and in touch with the needs of communities around the world (Live, Learn and Thrive Overview, 2010).
This commitment goes well beyond the P&G facilities. Every year, thousands of P&G employees worldwide are personally committed to helping children and youth live, learn and thrive in their communities and beyond. Many employees volunteer their time or work in groups on team-building projects such as constructing playgrounds for children, teaching the importance of safe hygiene, or mentoring teens. And millions of dollars have been donated by employees with the goal of improving the lives children and youth around the world (Live, Learn and Thrive Overview, 2010). P&G works very hard to give back to many communities around the world. They have many project initiatives that are currently in place and many more planned for the future. They pride themselves on being as socially responsible as they can be.
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