Procter & Gamble Sustainability Report: Energy, GHGs Down 3%
Since 2010, P&G has reduced its energy usage by 8 percent per unit of production. On an absolute basis, energy use fell from 74.4 million GJ in 2011 to 72.3 million GJ in 2013.
The company’s Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions per unit production also saw a 3 percent reduction over the year, and have fallen 11 percent since 2010.
That puts the company well on its way to achieving its goal of reducing both by 20 percent by 2020.
P&G’s Nenah, Ireland plant has cut energy consumption by 12 percent and CO2 emissions by 16 percent since 2010 by installing energy-efficient lighting, using ultrasonic detection to identify and repair compressed air leaks, and eliminating steam leaks.
Across its supply chain, the company says that hot water washes are its largest energy footprint. P&G says that through products like Tide Coldwater and Ariel Cool Clean, and through partnerships with washing machine suppliers, it helped increase the number of global consumer laundry loads washed in cold water from 38 percent to 50 percent since financial year 2010/2011. It is aiming for 70 percent by 2020.
P&G committed to convert about 20 percent of its North America for-hire transportation network to natural gas powered trucks over the next two years, and also to reduce truck transportation kilometers by 20 percent per unit of production. Since 2010, it has cut the latter metric by 12 percent.
P&G aims to power its plants with 30 percent renewable energy by 2020, up from about 7.5 percent today. During the past fiscal year, its plant in Huangpu, China partnered with a local utility supplier to install rooftop solar panels, which it expects will eliminate 600 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
This is Procter & Gamble’s 15th annual sustainability report. The company says that this year it achieved absolute reductions in waste, water, CO2 and energy – all four of the company’s major manufacturing footprints. The report provides a good overview of these areas, with clearly presented key metrics, although occasionally it lacks information about how P&G achieved certain reductions.
The company’s brands include Always, Bounty, Charmin, Crest, Dawn, Downy, Duracell, Febreze, Gilette, Iams, Oral-B, Pampers, Pantene and Tide.
P&G’s water consumption last year was 14 percent down on 2010 levels, per unit of production. The company consumed 74.3 million cubic meters of water in 2013, down from 78.7 million in 2012 and 80.2 million in 2011.
P&G’s Oxnard, Calif., site reduced water use by nearly 25 percent over the past year, which will result in a cost savings of more than $900,000 a year, the company says. P&G did not say how this particular result was achieved.
But it said that its Fabric Care production plant in Cairo has reduced water usage by 29 percent since 2010, conserving over 22 million gallons of water per year, through education, employee involvement, and technical solutions to reduce incoming water pressure on key chillers and building water systems.
P&G is cooperating on E4Water, a joint project between the European Commission and the chemical industry to develop innovative technologies for plant effluent water treatment, so more water can be recycled and re-used.
In 2013, the company’s wastewater chemical oxygen demand was 15,900 metric tons, down from 23,100 in 2012 and 24,100 in 2011.
In 2012/13, more than 99.35 percent of all materials entering Procter & Gamble plants were used, either in products or through recycling, reuse, and conversion of waste to energy. Manufacturing waste was reduced to 0.65 percent of input materials in fiscal year 12/13. The company’s 2020 goal is to ensure manufacturing waste to landfill is less than 0.5 percent of input materials.
Since 2010, the company has reduced manufacturing waste by 56 percent per unit of production – more than double the company’s original goal.
Also in this time, the company has reduced packaging by about 4.5 percent per consumer use. It is aiming for a 20 percent cut by 2020. The reduction so far has come from projects such as product compactions, packaging light-weighting, use of new materials, and more efficient transport packaging. The company says its new Tide PODS concentrated detergent cuts plastic use by 50 percent per customer.
But P&G says work towards the packaging goal will become more difficult as it achieves optimized packaging design on more and more of its products.
By 2020, P&G aims to replace 25 percent of petroleum-based materials with sustainably sourced renewable materials. So far, the company says it has successfully commercialized bioplastic in some shampoo bottles and is moving towards pilot scale operations for some other key material classes.
In 2012/13, 13 percent of P&G’s annual palm oil, palm kernel oil and derivative consumption was RSPO certified. The company is aiming for 100 percent by 2015. By that date it also aims for 100 percent third-party certification for the virgin wood fiber used in its tissue/towel and absorbent hygiene products, up from 97 percent last year; and 40 percent FSC-certification for virgin wood fiber in tissue/towel products, up from 9 percent last year.
Correction: A previous version of this story said P&G’s energy rose on an absolute basis, from 72.3 million GJ to 74.4 million GJ. These numbers were reversed – energy use actually fell from 74.4 million GJ in 2011 to 72.3 million GJ in 2013. We regret the error.
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