Dawn® Dish Soap Launches Next Wave of Efforts to Help Save Wildlife

Dawn®, have announced a set of expansive sustainability and purpose-driven commitments to help create a cleaner world for wildlife. These goals build upon the brand’s existing sustainability actions and long history of partnering with rescue and rehabilitation experts to save wildlife. Through the launch of these new efforts, Dawn aims to empower people to help protect wildlife at our shores and begin making small changes at the sink that can make a big impact in the world.

At the Shore

More than 40 years ago, experts at International Bird Rescue began using Dawn dish soap to clean oiled wildlife in the wake of a catastrophic spill. Since then, Dawn has expanded its efforts, forming a partnership with The Marine Mammal Center and investing significant funds to support environmental advocacy and research. Through these efforts, Dawn has helped care for more than 150,000 birds and marine mammals. The brand will build on this legacy by working with these longstanding wildlife partners on a set of commitments to protect aquatic wildlife and encourage positive human interactions with birds and marine mammals.

“We have trusted Dawn to care for wildlife in more than 200 rescue efforts over the past 40 years,” said JD Bergeron, CEO of International Bird Rescue. “People are always surprised when they see Dawn in our rescue and rehabilitation centers and with us in the field, but the history and continued partnership is real because Dawn carefully removes oil from delicate feathers, making it a vital resource for our response team and the birds impacted by oil pollution each year.”

Dawn will further its efforts by partnering with International Bird Rescue and The Marine Mammal Center to help:

  • Protect and care for one million birds and marine mammals through direct rescue and rehabilitation efforts, as well as advocacy and work in habitats to keep wildlife safe and in the wild.
  • Inspire and empower one million people to become Wildlife Heroes – people who take small, positive actions in their daily lives to create a cleaner world for wildlife. Some of these actions will include:
    • Interactive quizzes that promote positive behaviors to protect wildlife
    • At-home activities like recycling and reducing water and energy use
    • Opportunities to engage directly with experts at International Bird Rescue and The Marine Mammal Center.

At the Sink

A 2021 study by Procter & Gamble1 found 72% of people want to do more to be sustainable at home, yet less than half of make environmentally conscious choices as often as they would like. Dawn is innovating to help people start with more sustainable behaviors at the sink.

Every product has a lifecycle – starting with ingredient sourcing, moving through manufacturing and processing, distribution, consumer use, and disposal. Using a science-based Life Cycle Assessment, product developers can understand the environmental impact of each of these phases and determine levers to pull at each phase to reduce carbon impact. Upon studying the lifecycle of a hand dish soap, it is evident more than 80% of its total estimated impact comes from the ‘in-use’ phase, or the energy and water used to clean dishes. This has compelled Dawn to continually innovate products for cleaner, faster dishwashing using fewer resources.

“Many people are surprised to learn that the biggest impact from a dish soap’s product lifecycle comes from how it is used at the sink,” said Terry Hare, R&D Senior Director, Dawn. “We design with all parts of the product lifecycle in mind but recognize the biggest opportunity and toughest challenge we have is reducing the water and energy needed to clean dishes.”

This insight is the foundation of Dawn’s work to enable a 25% reduction in water usage during in-home hand dishwashing in North America by 2030. The brand plans to deliver this commitment through a combination of product innovation and consumer education, enabling households to conserve water, energy, and time. For example, Dawn Powerwash Dish Spray was designed to work on contact, without requiring a running tap to create suds. Keeping the tap off until the rinse can help households save up to 120 gallons of water per week*. The product also features a reusable trigger that allows people to use 55% less plastic with each refill, compared to purchasing a bottle with attached sprayer. In 2020 alone, this refill model helped save 400 metric tons of plastic.

“At Dawn, we are dedicated to developing products that are designed to get dishes clean, using less water, less energy – and less time,” said Guerin McClure, Vice President, North America Dish Care, Procter & Gamble. “That commitment to conserving resources has guided our innovation for decades and is why we’re committed to not only partnering to save oiled wildlife – but to protecting the world we share with them.”

Dawn is encouraging everyone to join its efforts at the sink and at the shore, starting with small changes at home like conserving water and recycling, and taking steps to learn more about ways to protect wildlife in your own backyard.

“People often underestimate the massive effect that their everyday actions can have on the environment and its wildlife,” said Dr. Jeff Boehm, Chief Executive Officer, The Marine Mammal Center. “By making small, but meaningful changes at home, we can begin to help create a cleaner world for wildlife, together.”

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