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Walking the Talk
P&G Unveils New Strategy to Help Address Global Water Crisis

The company’s expanded commitment includes a first-of-its-kind goal to restore more water than is consumed during use of P&G products in two high-water-stressed metropolitan areas.

Procter & Gamble today announced a major expansion of its environmental sustainability efforts that will make more water available in critically water-stressed areas around the world. This comprehensive effort includes a global portfolio of water restoration projects that aim to provide a range of solutions to protect ecosystems, replenish groundwater supplies, reduce the amount of water diverted from essential bodies of water, and improve water quality for the communities and wildlife that depend on them.

P&G’s commitment is highlighted by a first-of-its-kind goal to restore more water than is consumed when using P&G products in the critically water-stressed metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and Mexico City.

P&G’s strategy aims to help build a water-positive future by reducing water use in manufacturing, responding to water challenges through innovation and partnerships, and supporting projects in 18 water-stressed areas around the world — including new projects announced today. These new goals and actions build on the company’s existing Ambition 2030 sustainability efforts across climate, nature, waste and water.

“Water is one of the world’s most critical natural resources, and something too many often take for granted. For years, we have been focused on reducing water use in our operations and innovating to help consumers use less water in the home; but there is much more we can all do,” said Jon Moeller, P&G President and CEO. “Together with our partners, we are expanding our efforts that will improve, manage and protect water resources in stressed areas that will help sustain people and nature for generations to come.”

Restoring water for people and nature: P&G’s new 2030 goals

Nearly one-third of people globally are experiencing water scarcity and that number is expected to double by 2025. Since P&G needs water to make its products and consumers need water to use most of its products, the company’s new goals and projects focus on addressing the water that does not go back down the drain or to local systems from its operations — and, in an industry-first, from consumer use of products. P&G says it worked closely with the World Resources Institute (WRI) Water Program to ensure these new water targets align with the best science and emerging target-setting practices.

P&G’s new goals center around:

  • The making of its products — to restore more water than is consumed[1] at P&G manufacturing sites in 18 water-stressed areas around the world.

  • The use of its products — to restore more water than is consumed[2] when using P&G products in the high-water-stressed metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and Mexico City, which account for over half of the total water consumed during the use of P&G products across 18 priority water-stressed areas.

“P&G’s water target applies a rigorous analytical approach and complements the other aspects within their comprehensive water stewardship strategy,” says Colin Strong, Corporate Water Stewardship Lead at WRI’s Aqueduct Program. It adds a first-of-its-kind ambition to address water consumption and offers a roadmap for others to adopt targets in the face of our shared water problems.”

New projects for greater impact

P&G is working with on-the-ground partners who have a deep knowledge of local challenges to support solutions that will result in meaningful water benefits in each basin. Today, the company is announcing six new restoration projects throughout the Bear River basin in Utah and Idaho, in partnership with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s (BEF) Business for Water Stewardship program. These projects are in addition to the eight projects P&G began supporting in 2020 in California’s Sacramento River basin and the Colorado River Indian Tribes System Conservation Project in Arizona, which helps shore up declining water levels in Lake Mead. In total, these projects are expected to restore billions of liters of water for people and nature by 2030 and provide other important benefits to surrounding communities.

“P&G is innovating and setting a high bar for how a company can address shared water issues,” said Todd Reeve, BEF CEO and Business for Water Stewardship co-founder. “By deploying a comprehensive approach that tackles water challenges in the home and supports key local restoration projects in stressed watersheds, P&G is leveraging its unique capacity in new and high-impact ways that should establish the standard for corporate environmental water stewardship.”

In the coming years, P&G says it will work with new and existing partners on additional water-restoration projects with long-term benefits in other priority water-stressed areas around the world.

Partnering to address water challenges

As part of its new strategy, P&G is building on its existing efforts:

  • Providing clean drinking water to people in need — aiming to provide 25 billion liters of clean drinking water to children and families in need around the world by 2025 through its Children’s Safe Drinking Water program.

  • Accelerating water innovation at scale — leveraging its water chemistry expertise and water-efficient products to make everyday living more sustainable as founding members of the 50 Liter Home Coalition.

  • Enabling people to reduce their water footprint — working with its brands to continue to create and share products, tools and information to help consumers use less water at home. P&G is focused on developing innovations that deliver product sustainability and superiority, including:

    • Cascade is helping to reduce daily water use in households across the US by encouraging people to skip pre-rinsing dishes and instead run the dishwasher every night. Contrary to popular belief, the dishwasher uses four gallons of water per cycle, while the sink can use that same amount in just two minutes.

    • Pantene and Rejoice have developed No-Rinse Conditioners that enable people to condition and nourish their hair without the need for water.

  • Continuing to make facilities and manufacturing plants more water efficient. All P&G sites located in water-stressed areas are dedicated to understanding their local watersheds, creating action plans and addressing key challenges impacting operations and local communities.

    ***
    

    1 water that evaporates during the manufacturing of our products or is incorporated into the finished product manufactured at these sites.

    2 water from household leaks and evaporation during the use of P&G products.

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