The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has reduced (per unit of production) water consumption by 52 percent, energy usage by 48 percent, CO2 emissions by 52 percent and waste disposal by 53 percent since 2002, according to the company’s 2009 Sustainability Report.
The report, Designed to Matter, outlines P&G’s progress in improving the environmental profile of its products and operations. In March, P&G increased targets for its 2012 environmental goals. The company set 20 percent reduction (per unit production) targets for CO2 emissions, energy consumption, water consumption and waste disposal from P&G plants, which will result in a total reduction over the decade of at least 50 percent.
Since July 2007, P&G has cut energy use by 11 percent, CO2 emissions by 10 percent, water use by 13 percent and waste disposal by 30 percent (all per unit production).
Here are several examples of projects at P&G global operations that have contributed to the company’s double-digit reductions in energy and water use consumption, waste disposal, and CO2 emissions.
P&G’s Beauty Care plant in Bangkok, Thailand, decreased waste disposal by 86 percent by implementing a process to dewater plant by-product.
P&G’s Baby Care plant in Mequinenza, Spain, saved 28m3 of water per unit of production after performing an analysis to understand where it was losing water. A new chiller at P&G’s pharmaceutical site in Weiterstadt, Germany, enabled water savings of 24.1m3 per unit of production.
P&G’s Household Care plant in Brockville, Ontario, Canada, decreased its total site energy use by 20 percent through several improvements. The site optimized its heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems, improved compressor and chiller management, improved boiler efficiency, shutdown equipment automatically when not in use, added timers to lights, and implemented site-wide steam trap inspection and replacement. These efforts are now being replicated across many P&G sites globally, according to the report.
In the area of new product development, P&G has achieved $13.1 billion in cumulative sales of products with a significantly reduced environmental impact since 2007. As an example, consumers in Western Europe using Ariel Excel Gel, a highly concentrated, low-temperature laundry detergent, use 20 to 50 percent less energy, while manufacturing requires 40 to 50 percent less water and 30 to 40 percent less energy.
The company also has developed a smart eco-design for new construction, called the 77 Point Plan. Two recent projects followed the new building construction plan.
As an example, the 10,000-square-foot meter DACH Customization Center in Euskirchen, Germany, was built using sustainable materials and will save roughly 7,300 metric tons of CO2 over the building’s 40-year lifetime. The center features high-efficiency lighting, rainwater recycling, water-efficient sanitary appliances, and a solar hot water system. It is also the first P&G building with an operating solar photovoltaic system. The system is capable of generating 324 Gigajoules of electricity per year, with an equivalent CO2 reduction equal to nearly 35,400 truck kilometers, according to the company.
The company also has transitioned to an intermodal shipping program in western Europe that aims to increase rail transportation from 10 percent to 30 percent by 2015 to help reduce CO2 emissions. Pilot programs in Belgium and France, operating since July 2008, have reduced CO2 emissions by more than 4,000 metric tons per year — an amount equal to the CO2 produced by lighting more than 15,000 homes annually, said the company.
Since September 2008, P&G Brazil has bypassed most of the 4,000 kilometers of road between the Manaus plant in the Amazon and the main distribution center in São Paulo, which can reduce CO2 emissions by at least 60 percent.