An infographic from Procter & Gamble illustrates the sustainability intention-to-action gap experienced by consumers.
In observance of Earth Week and as part of its ongoing commitment to help make sustainable choices easier for consumers, consumer packaged goods powerhouse Procter & Gamble (P&G) is rolling out a new campaign, It's Our Home, including a namesake short film to show how small actions by individuals can have a huge impact.
According to a recent study in the United States by P&G, 72% of people want to do more to be sustainable at home and almost 90% of parents are inspired by their kids to do so. However, fewer than half of people make environmentally conscious choices at home as frequently as they want to. For most people, “not knowing how” is the greatest obstacle to making sustainable choices.
In 2010, P&G pledged to have 70% of all washing machine loads be low-energy wash cycles by 2020. The company achieved that goal in 2019 and estimates that since 2015, the avoided emissions from U.S. consumers increasing their use of low-energy laundry cycles have been about 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide — more than five times larger than P&G’s current global manufacturing and operational emissions. This demonstrates the significant impact of positively influencing consumer behavior.
“Meaningful change starts at home, and P&G brands have a big role to play — by helping consumers live more sustainably, with no tradeoffs in the superior performance they expect from our products,” noted David Taylor, P&G’s chairman of the board, president and CEO. “P&G and our brands will continue to reduce our impact and help people be more sustainable at home to protect our planet — our shared home — for generations to come.”
In the P&G study cited above, almost 80% of consumers said that they expect the brands they buy to help them live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. Earlier research demonstrates that sustainable product choices don’t matter if people don’t purchase them, and that consumers want both sustainability and product performance, without the need to compromise. For this reason, P&G is using its voice, reach, innovation and expertise, and that of its brands, to encourage consumers to make choices that are better for the environment.
To help close the sustainability intention-to-action gap, the company has taken such actions as releasing a new film, “It’s Our Home,” in which a girl named Luisa helps her family adopt new eco-friendly habits. The film and additional online content aim to make people aware of what they can do at home to help the planet.
Additionally, P&G brands such as Cascade, Charmin, Crest, Dawn, Gillette, Herbal Essences, Oral-B and Tide are ramping up consumer communication about sustainability, bringing greater attention to their eco-friendly partnerships, product formulations and packaging and giving helpful tips to consumers about how they can help the planet from home.
Households can take part in the wider It’s Our Home campaign through P&G Good Everyday, a new consumer rewards program powered by P&G’s brands. When consumers participate in the program, they earn points that can be redeemed for rewards, and as they earn, P&G makes donations to its well-known impact programs, including Tide Loads of Hope, P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water and Dawn Helps Save Wildlife.
Further, It’s Our Home highlights the importance of consumer use of products at home in an effort to lower greenhouse-gas emissions. P&G’s Tide brand has revealed a goal for three out of four loads of laundry in the United States and Canada to be washed in cold water by 2030, which has the potential to deliver a cumulative 27 million metric ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the decade.
Beyond the consumer-use phase, the company has set 2030 goals to reduce manufacturing emissions by 50%, purchase 100% renewable electricity, improve finished product transportation emissions efficiency by 50%, make 100% of packaging recyclable or reusable, and reduce virgin petroleum plastic packaging by 50%. Later this year, P&G will release a climate transition action plan outlining the specifics of its long-term goal of net zero emissions for scope 1, 2 and elements of scope 3 emissions.
“The challenges facing our environment impact us all, but together, we can all be a part of the solution,” said Virginie Helias, P&G’s chief sustainability officer. “P&G has a unique responsibility to use our scale and influence to help build a better tomorrow, which we are doing through our 2030 goals, including partnering with others to combat some of the most complex issues we face. I am delighted to launch It’s Our Home to show that our brands can enable small actions at home that collectively will have a big impact, fostering a sustainable, regenerative lifestyle for all.”
Over the past decade, Cincinnati-based P&G has reduced its greenhouse-gas emissions by 50%, reached zero manufacturing waste to landfill across all sites worldwide, and doubled the use of recycled resin in its plastic packaging.