Lessening The Footprint


      by Greg Kishbaugh

     Considering the maturity of the packaging market, it is astounding the amount and scope of change it continues to undergo. With most consumers demonstrating increased concern over environmental issues, retailers, CPGs and converters have shown spectacular levels of innovation as they aim to meet increasingly stringent sustainability goals.
     Procter and Gamble recently released its 16th annual sustainability report, unveiling the fact that the company has reached its waste reduction goals six years earlier than planned and its pulp certification goal a year early. The fact that the company now has 70 global facilities delivering zero manufacturing waste to landfill is a testament to what can be accomplished when innovators up and down the supply chain work in unison.
     “Our teams are driven to make a significant, positive and lasting impact on the communities we serve through our operations, product designs and innovative partnerships, and this year’s report showcases the results of that dedication,” said Martin Riant, P&G Executive Sponsor of Sustainability and Group President of Global Baby and Feminine & Family Care. “Our work to drive zero manufacturing waste to landfill across our manufacturing facilities has exceeded expectations with nearly 50 percent of our sites achieving this goal since 2010.”      
     In the area of waste, the company exceeded its waste reduction goal by achieving only 0.4 percent of input materials being disposed of as manufacturing waste to landfill across all its facilities; the goal called for less than 0.5 percent by 2020.      
     The company also reduced total emissions by 14 percent and installed two co-generation energy systems that will considerably reduce CO2 emissions, including 120,000 less metric tons per year at its largest global plant in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania.      
     And the company continues to make advancements to its packaging. Like CPGs and converters the world over, it strives to continually analyze ways in which its packaging can not only provide more benefit to the consumer but can also lessen its environmental footprint.      
     The company’s new Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle packaging, for instance, includes a 2.5x compaction formula with 45 percent less packaging and 64 percent less water per bottle, along with a unique single-dosing cap that ensures people don’t use too much. The company has committed to further compact its detergents by 2018 in North America, with 25 percent less water, less CO2 and less plastic.      

     The report also highlights four new 2020 sustainability goals P&G launched in October:     
     • Reduce water usage at manufacturing facilities by 20 percent per unit of production.      
     • Provide 1 billion people access to water-efficient products.      
     • Double the use of recycled resin in plastic packaging.      
     • Ensure 90 percent of product packaging is recyclable or that programs are in place to create the ability to recycle it.     
     “Our teams, in collaboration with some leading external partners, have delivered high-impact innovations and projects, helping us exceed goals in two key areas of the business, and closing in on others.” said Riant. “We recognize that there is more to be done and are committed to focusing on areas where we can make the biggest positive impact.”

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