P&G Says Global Operations to Be Carbon Neutral within the Decade

(Photo: A Brazil Atlantic forest restoration project with WWF. Credit: P&G)

by | Jul 17, 2020

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P&G Says Global Operations to Be Carbon Neutral within the Decade

(Photo: A Brazil Atlantic forest restoration project with WWF. Credit: P&G)

Procter & Gamble announced plans to go beyond their existing science-based target of reducing emissions from operations 50% by 2030 to have global operations become carbon neutral for the next decade. The consumer goods corporation wants to get there by investing in a portfolio of “natural climate solutions.”

In May 2018, P&G committed to reducing emissions from operations against a 2010 base year. According to the Science Based Targets initiative, this target includes addressing the main source of emissions across the company’s value chain through measures like ensuring that 70% of all washing machine loads are washed in cold water, doubling post-consumer resin use in plastic packaging, and ensuring zero deforestation in the palm oil supply chain.

The company also previously set a goal of purchasing 100% renewable electricity by 2030. P&G says it will continue pursuing new wind, solar, and geothermal projects that speed up the transition to renewables, but anticipates that some emissions still won’t be eliminated through existing technologies in time.

According to current estimates, P&G says the company needs to balance approximately 30 million metric tons of carbon from 2020 to 2030. In order to reduce their emissions further, the consumer goods giant known for brands such as Always, Bounty, Charmin, Dawn, Oral-B, Pampers, and Tide, is focusing on solutions that help remove and store carbon from the atmosphere using nature.

P&G plans to partner with Conservation International and World Wildlife Fund on projects that protect, improve, and restore forests, wetlands, grasslands, and peatlands. The company has already identified projects globally for investment. They include protecting mangroves in the Philippines with Conservation International, restoring the Atlantic Forest on Brazil’s east coast with WWF, and the Evergreen Alliance with Arbor Day Foundation.

“In addition to sequestering more carbon, an important aspect of natural climate solutions is the potential to deliver meaningful environmental and socioeconomic co-benefits that serve to protect and enhance nature and improve the livelihoods of local communities,” the company said.

Another focus area is indirect emissions. Addressing consumer use of P&G products, which the company says accounts for as much as 85% of their Scope 3 emissions, entails steps such as optimizing detergent formulas for high efficiency in low temperature washing, highlighting the benefits of low-energy wash cycles, and showing consumers how they can save energy by skipping the pre-wash on dishwashers.

“Our role as leaders is to make a lower emission economy and lifestyle possible, affordable, and desirable for everyone,” said P&G’s chief sustainability officer Virginie Helias.

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