Procter & Gamble Reaches 85% Zero Manufacturing Waste To Landfill

(Photo: P&G world headquarters. Credit: Procter & Gamble)

by | Nov 13, 2018

manufacturing waste

(Photo: P&G world headquarters. Credit: Procter & Gamble)

Procter & Gamble has reached zero manufacturing waste to landfill at 85% of their sites globally and describes how they did it in a 2018 Citizenship Report published today. The company started the program a decade ago, and currently aims to achieve 100% by 2020.

When the Zero Manufacturing Waste to Landfill program launched in 2008, Procter & Gamble’s 100-plus manufacturing sites worldwide were producing more than one million tons of waste annually, the company’s report notes. Getting to zero “seemed like an impossible dream” at the time, according to P&G.

The shift began with employees changing their everyday behaviors and collaborating with the company’s Global Asset Recovery Purchases team to find new uses for materials. For example, P&G sells soap that doesn’t meet their specs to carwashes. Scraps from feminine care products are turned into cat litter, and old shipping drums get repurposed as school benches and tree containers.

In 2018, the Global Asset Recovery Purchases team developed several new solutions for plants around the world. They include recovering plastic waste from diaper production in Mexico and converting it into plastic pellets for making products like buckets and brooms. In Canada, the Belleville Plant converts scrap and process waste from feminine care product manufacturing into spill mitigation products.

“There is a double benefit — we create a more circular supply chain by avoiding the landfill while also getting revenue for this would-be waste,” the report says. P&G found that since 2008, the Zero Manufacturing Waste to Landfill program has helped save the company more than $2 billion and divert more than 5 million tons of waste from landfills.

Two regions are close to reaching the 100% Zero Manufacturing Waste to Landfill goal: Europe and Asia. P&G expects them to reach the milestone within a year’s time. The company has 26 countries where the sites qualify as zero manufacturing waste to landfill.

Waste — along with water and climate — represents a main focus area for P&G. In April, the company reported achieving several 2020 goals early, prompting the establishment of new ones for 2030. Among the new goals is for P&G’s 20 leadership brands to offer 100% recyclable or reusable packaging. Those brands include Always, Ariel, Dawn, Fairy, Febreze, Head & Shoulders, Pantene, Pampers, and Tide.

Procter & Gamble’s full 2018 Citizenship Report is available here.

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