P&G sets sights on turning waste into a profit driver

P&G is actively looking to extract greater value from its waste streams for profit gain as it builds on significant waste reduction efforts made in the past five years.

According to Procter & Gamble’s latest sustainability report, waste disposal has reduced by 68% in absolute terms across its manufacturing operations from 2007-2012.

Now P&G intends to maximise the resource potential of its manufacturing waste by finding novel uses for these materials.

The company’s director for global sustainability Peter White told edie that moves were being made to look at ‘blending’ different waste outputs from its sites in order to forge innovative end-market use.

“It’s a great story, it’s all about repurposing industrial technology … finding new ways to use these materials to get value from them. It’s great for the bottom line,” he said.

P&G is already putting its waste dental floss to good use by utilising it as a filler material in pillows for industrial spills. Some of its hair care waste is also being incorporated into brick production.

Looking ahead, the company has set a 2020 goal of reducing its manufacturing waste to landfill to less than 0.5% of input material.
White admitted that issues of sustainability “will either be a barrier or opportunity for long term growth of our company”.

“We want to make products that help consumers reduce their impact through less water or energy use – to aim for zero consumer impact,” he said, but added: “We are a long way off from that right now”.

Maxine Perella

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