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The Procter and Gamble Company
Looking Down the Value Chain: Recognizing the Importance of Water to Consumers

The Procter and Gamble Company (P&G) markets approximately 250 brands of consumer products to nearly five billion consumers in more than 130 countries. The products include laundry detergents, toothpastes, shampoos, feminine hygiene products, pharmaceuticals, snacks, diapers, cosmetics and cold remedies. As P&G looked at their water use and impacts along the value chain, the company identified a number of areas for improving water management. Over the past few years, it has significantly reduced water usage and pollution at its manufacturing plants. However, one of the company’s biggest challenges is to address consumer use of water.

Water is essential for the use and disposal of virtually all of P&G’s products. Nearly 85% of sales are associated in some way with household water use. Because water has such a tremendous effect on both consumers’ lives and its business, P&G has identified water as one of two priority sustainability focus areas.

To focus itself on this subject, P&G has established a water sustainability guideline for its product development efforts. “As you improve current products, or develop new-to-the-world products and services, think about how you could apply our technologies to use less water, use water differently, or use no water at all.”

P&G is pursuing cleaning and laundry products that use less water, cold water, non-potable water and even salt water. They are developing shampoo and personal cleaning products that use less water or no water at all. To help consumers improve the quality of their water use, P&G is also developing filtration and treatment systems that treat and recycle water in the home.

Module 1