Global corporates are playing a vital role in the development and scaling of the circular economy. In the fight to curb plastic pollution and advance circular packaging, corporates are stepping up to drive action to innovate new ways to combat waste and to evolve their roles so they can do more.
Procter & Gamble
I recently sat down with Virginie Helias, Chief Sustainability Officer at Procter & Gamble, to talk about the evolution of partnerships to help solve the plastic waste crisis and her thoughts on how corporates might be able to accelerate their impact through innovation, new commitments and greater cross-collaboration.
Having been with P&G for your career, I imagine you’ve seen the company take many approaches to sustainability. How would you describe the evolution?
Three decades ago, we were focusing on environmental stewardship – which was really about compliance, with a big focus on safety – ensuring our products were not harmful to people and the environment. We’ve always taken a science-based approach to sustainability. In fact, we’ve had an environmental science department for over 50 years, P&G has released a sustainability report for more than 20 years. Today, sustainability is part of doing business at P&G – it is embraced by all businesses and all functions. It is built in – not bolted on – to our everyday work.
Today, sustainability is fully embedded into P&G’s integrated growth model, business strategy, innovations and operations. We are setting a new standard, one where consumers’ sustainability expectations are considered from the very start of the innovation journey and embedded across all vectors of superiority. A few examples: with our Oral-B Clic toothbrush you can get an exceptional plaque removal and reuse 80% of the brush by replacing the brush head and reusing the handle; with Cascade ActionPac, you can skip the pre-wash and save up to 20 gallons of water every load; and with Tide Pods, you can switch from hot to cold and get a deep clean while saving 90% of energy.
The scale of the plastic pollution challenge requires an all-hands-on-deck approach to achieve real change, and partnerships are a key element of P&G’s strategy to drive impact at scale. How is P&G harnessing the power of partnerships to advance circularity?
Most of the sustainability challenges today cannot be solved by one company or one industry alone. It requires radical collaboration across sector value chains, private and public actors.
We’re focused on partnerships in both developing and developed markets to support solutions that prevent plastic leakages into the environment, enable recycling and advance the circular economy. In developing markets, P&G is partnered with Circulate Capital and supports its Ocean Fund, which invests in companies that address plastic pollution and advance the circular economy in Southeast Asia, as well as startups focused on early-stage disruptive innovation and technology. POP SEA is a good example – it’s a plastic waste collection and recycling company pioneering an innovative supply chain model across Indonesia.
In the U.S., P&G has been partnering with The Recycling Partnership for over 10 years to help build a better recycling system. Packaging is made of different types of materials, and not all of them can be recycled together – so we’re working with experts at The Recycling Partnership to recycle more types of material, improve collection with more access to recycling and increase amounts of recycled content. And with programs like the Recycling Inclusion Fund, we are helping provide equal access to recycling services and education to improve collection rates.
P&G is also an inaugural member of WWF ReSource:Plastic that seeks to establish data-driven insights to inform how companies can maximize the impact of their plastic reduction efforts. We’re also continuing to learn with 160 other companies on HolyGrail 2.0 pilots that grew from our idea to use digital watermarks on packaging to get recyclables sorted faster and with more accuracy. This cross-value chain initiative holds promise to put more high-quality plastics back into the loop.
What sort of progress have you made on your goals for recyclable/reusable plastic and to reduce virgin plastic by 50% by 2030?
Each year, we are using more recycled content in our packaging, and we’re designing more packaging to be recyclable or reusable. At the end of our 2021/2022 fiscal year, ~79% of our consumer packaging is designed to be recyclable or reusable. We’ve also delivered an ~8% reduction in virgin petroleum plastic in packaging versus a 2017 baseline and have increased our use of recycled resin in our packaging by ~38% globally just since the prior year. We still have progress to make, but we’re moving steadfastly toward our 2030 target.
P&G is one of the original backers of The Circulate Capital Ocean Fund – the World’s first investment fund dedicated to preventing ocean plastic in South and Southeast Asia. Why is Southeast Asia an important focus area?
The Circulate Capital Ocean Fund provides financing to waste management, recycling and circular economy start-ups in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines – all places where P&G operates and sells products. These regions are often high-growth markets, yet underdeveloped in infrastructure needed to collect, sort and recycle waste – and the lack of capital for waste infrastructure and supply chains has been a barrier to stopping plastic leakage. The opportunity for innovation is great.
The Circulate Capital Ocean Fund is helping achieve positive financial, environmental and social impact through bringing together business, governments, and start-ups to help reduce plastic leakage in the environment and the ocean. It will take the entire value chain – including businesses like P&G – to prove out new circular business models while improving waste management. There is also great potential to improve livelihoods by creating and formalizing local jobs, building climate resilience and sustainably managing our limited natural resources.
What are your thoughts on how multinationals can accelerate progress against their commitments for recycled plastic? What has to change to make this a reality?
Creating demand for recycled content is a critical role that business plays in building a circular value chain. Achieving the right, consistent quality of recycled resins at scale in a responsibly sourced and price-competitive way is a real challenge for many suppliers across the globe. Tackling the underlying feedstock challenges linked to poor collection rates and sorting efficiencies is a key enabler to this, which is why industry-wide partnership programs like Holy Grail 2.0 are so vital in driving better quality and capacity of recycled plastics in the market. Multinational companies are critical partners that can help innovate and scale new ways to collect, recycle and reduce plastic waste in both developed and developing markets.
Might there be other ways for corporates, similar to the way many of them have come together and invested in Circulate Capital, to further collaborate so that we can vastly accelerate the move to circularity?
We believe that partnerships and collaborative efforts across the supply chain are essential to drive the scale, quality and cost of recycled plastics that enable companies like P&G to meet consumers’ needs. A good example of this would be CosPaTox, an industry consortium of leading brand owners, recyclers and resin producers looking to develop safety guidelines for the safe use of post-consumer plastic recyclates used in cosmetic packaging. By setting industry-wide standards like this, entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes can invest with more clarity and assurances on the needs of the industry as a whole.
The circular economy presents the world with unprecedented opportunities to create a more sustainable and equitable plastics value chain. How can the public and private sectors better capitalize on these timely opportunities to uplift the lives of local communities?
There are interesting opportunities to shape inclusive and sustainable supply chains while we work toward our goal of achieving a circular economy. This is where bringing private and public sector and local communities together can play a really important role. For us, taking a responsible sourcing approach is a given, and we believe it has real potential to deliver meaningful impacts in these situations. At P&G, we work with our suppliers and partners like Circulate Capital to develop responsible sourcing frameworks to not only mitigate risk, but to also improve livelihoods deeper in the supply chain.
That means it acts as a Force for Growth – not just for P&G’s business, but for local business partners (big and small), workers and their families too – and can help through circularity to deliver Force for Good benefits for the environment and local communities. Together, we can uplift lives by creating new economic opportunities and improving livelihoods; for example, through supporting local waste collectors and recycling programs, creating jobs, and providing educational opportunities.
If you could leave us with one takeaway on the world’s pathway toward plastic circularity, what would that be?
We believe we can help unlock more value from the materials we use every day, long after their first use. Instead of throwing away used plastic, we can help drive towards a system where it can be used over and over again so that it doesn’t become waste. For a circular economy to work properly, it must be a collective effort. Collaboration of P&G brands, suppliers and partners like Circulate Capital are critical to create a range of innovative and sustainable solutions so that more plastic is collected, recycled and reused.
Source: Fox Business
DirecTV Sends Warning Shot to Warner Bros. Discovery Over CNN Max
Canada told to remove dozens of diplomats from India: report
Selena Gomez Addresses Dua Lipa Feud Rumors
10 Best Face Masks for Acne
Beckhams break silence on his alleged 2003 affair & handle it superbly
I’m a Long-Distance Hiker With Ulcerative Colitis—Here’s How I Manage On and Off the Trail
The Benefits of Lactic Acid for Skin Go Beyond Exfoliation
This Back and Biceps Workout With Dumbbells Can Help Improve Your Posture
33 Tasty Pumpkin Recipes That Are Perfect for Fall
APL TechLoom Dream Review: A Comfy Shoe for Stylish Walkers and Casual Runners
A Lab Just 3D-Printed a Neural Network of Living Brain Cells
Kate Middleton Won’t Accompany Prince William to the Earthshot Awards This Year in a Surprising Change of Plans
Supreme Court May Defund Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—Why Experts Warn Of ‘Chaos’ If That Happens
The best spa in the world is in New England, according to Conde Nast Traveler readers
Sam Bankman-Fried Is a Terrible Client
News16 hours ago
Rep. Matt Gaetz triggers vote to oust Kevin McCarthy from speaker’s office
Travel21 hours ago
QNB announces its Strategic Banking Partnership of Expo 2023 Doha Qatar™
Auto20 hours ago
Chery To Launch Three Brands Selling SUVs In Europe By End Of 2025
Lifestyle15 hours ago
Tori Spelling’s “Oldest Babies” Are All Grown Up in Homecoming Photo
Auto22 hours ago
650-HP Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Battles Twin-Turbo BMW M2 In Drag Races
Finance15 hours ago
Sand In The Market Machine: Negative Carry In A Lot Of Places
Sport15 hours ago
Chelsea ratings: Palmer shows Man City bench warmer is one of Blues’ best
News24 hours ago
Report: Patriots’ Christian Gonzalez, Matthew Judon both expected to miss time due to dislocated shoulder, bicep injury