Most people want to protect the planet, but they’re not always sure where to start, according to a new study by Procter & Gamble. In celebration of Earth Week and as part of its commitment to help make sustainable choices easier for the five billion consumers it serves every day, P&G is launching a new campaign, including a short film It’s Our Home to share how small actions at home can make a world of difference for the planet.
Small acts at home can make a big impact
According to a new study in the U.S. by P&G, 72% of people want to do more to be sustainable at home and nearly 90% of parents are inspired by their children to do so. But fewer than half of people make environmentally conscious choices at home as often as they’d like. For most people, “not knowing how” is the biggest barrier to acting sustainably.
Closing the gap between intention and action and unlocking change at home has the potential to positively impact the planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, electricity, water use, and more. Among the 28 sectors of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, “homes” are in the top three, and as big as road transportation. And the amount of electricity we use at home – accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic – is expected to nearly double by 2050.
This means the small changes we make – such as using cold water for laundry, taking shorter showers or turning off the tap while brushing our teeth or shaving, and recycling more – can make a big impact. For example, in 2010 P&G made a commitment to have 70% of all washing machine loads be low-energy wash cycles by 2020. P&G reached 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 roughly 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. This amount is more than five times larger than P&G’s current global manufacturing and operational emissions, demonstrating 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,” said David Taylor, P&G Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer. “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.”
P&G brands aim to help families be sustainable at home
In the same P&G study, nearly 80% of consumers said they expect the brands they buy to help them live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. Previous research has shown that sustainable product choices don’t matter if people don’t choose them, and consumers expect both sustainability and product performance, without the need to compromise. That’s why P&G is committing to using its voice, reach, innovation and expertise – and that of its brands – to make sustainability irresistible for all.
P&G is taking a number of steps to help close the sustainability intention-to-action gap – including releasing a new film, It’s Our Home, in which young Luisa helps her family adopt new habits that protect her planet. The film and additional content at P&G Good Everyday will help people learn about the simple choices they can make at home.
P&G brands are also stepping up consumer communication about sustainability. And, through product formulation and packaging that uses less, refills easily or recycles more, they’re helping families make sustainable choices at home:
- Turn to Cold: Washing on cold with Tide provides a better clean (than the bargain brand on hot4). Switching from hot to cold water can also save energy and money – using up to 90% less energy and saving up to $150 a year on your energy bill by washing on cold instead of hot5.
- Skip the pre-rinse: Cascade knows that even small dishwasher loads can save water. A running sink can use up to four gallons of water every two minutes, while an ENERGY STAR® certified dishwasher uses less than four gallons per cycle. So, if you spend just 10 minutes per day handwashing your dishes, then choosing your dishwasher for your daily load of dishes and skipping the pre-rinse can save you up to 100 gallons a week.
- Save on soaking: Dawn Powerwash Dish Spray creates spray-activated suds without water to get dishes clean without soaking so there’s no need to use the faucet until the final rinse.
- Reduce and recycle: Planet KIND by Gillette is a new shaving and skincare brand that is kind to skin and the planet. Planet KIND packaging is recyclable, and the lineup also includes a razor handle made with 60% recycled plastic.
- Turn off the tap: Closing the tap while brushing your teeth can save more than 3,000 gallons of water every year. Sponsored by Crest and Oral-B, consumers can send used toothbrushes, brush heads, toothpaste tubes and dental floss to Recycle on Us which will organize, sanitize and recycle them—giving recycled plastics entirely new life. In addition, brushing with the Oral-B Clic toothbrush lets you reuse 80% of the brush and replace only the brush head.
- Protect forests: For every tree used to make Charmin toilet paper, at least two more are regrown. In collaboration with the Arbor Day Foundation, P&G and Charmin are planting 1 million trees between 2020 and 2025 in areas devastated by natural disasters, such as wildfires.
- Renew biodiversity: Herbal Essences is partnering with The Nature Conservancy in the US to plant trees and with World Wildlife Fund Canada to plant native plants for a landscape more resilient to climate change.
Households can participate in the It’s Our Home movement through P&G Good Everyday, a new consumer rewards program powered by P&G’s trusted brands that helps turn everyday actions into acts of good. When consumers engage with the program, they earn points that can be redeemed for rewards – and as they earn, P&G makes donations to causes consumers care about. Through their actions on P&G Good Everyday, people can directly support P&G’s well-known impact programs such as Tide Loads of Hope, P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water, Dawn Helps Save Wildlife, and others.
Advancing Progress Toward Net Zero Emissions
The launch of It’s Our Home shines a spotlight on the importance of consumer use of products in the home as an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, consumer use of products is P&G’s largest opportunity to help reduce emissions and remains a key focus for company and brand efforts to address climate change. P&G’s Tide brand recently announced a goal for three out of four loads of laundry in the US 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.
P&G’s commitments go well beyond the consumer use phase and include its 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 issue a climate transition action plan outlining the company’s plans toward the long-term objective 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 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.”
Environmental sustainability has been embedded in how P&G does business for decades. Over the past 10 years P&G has reduced its GHG emissions by 50%, reached zero manufacturing waste to landfill across all sites globally, and doubled the use of recycled resin in its plastic packaging. For more about P&G’s commitments and progress, visit P&G’s ESG website or read P&G’s 2020 Citizenship Report.