As part of its long-term environmental vision, P&G has announced that its manufacturing facility in Auburn, Maine, is the company's ninth global site to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill status to date. However, P&G's move towards becoming a zero-waste company is unlikely to resonate among consumers, given the equally ambitious environmental targets frequently set by rival FMCG companies.
Procter & Gamble (P&G) recently announced that its feminine care facility in Auburn, Maine has installed the appropriate processes that will enable the site to reuse 100% of its waste. Although this marks the company's first North American site to achieve zero-waste status, P&G has already developed a similar environmental distinction across eight other global manufacturing facilities in Belgium, the UK, Hungary, and Italy, which cover sectors such as fabric and homecare as well as beauty and grooming.
In order to achieve zero-waste status at the Auburn site, P&G's Global Asset Recovery Purchases (GARP) team was responsible for connecting the facility with an external partner that could turn its non-recyclable waste into useful power. With an external solutions provider now working alongside P&G's GARP team, the Maine plant will not only be able to recycle 60% of its waste, but it will also be able to convert the remainder to energy through incineration. The electricity generated will then be used to power the incineration facility, with any excess power being sold back to the local power company.
The benefits of this zero-waste initiative are clear, with the latest calculations from the GARP team revealing that the program has already served to divert 10,000 tons of waste from landfill and, over the last year alone, saved P&G millions of dollars in cost recovery. Ultimately, P&G's latest zero-waste milestone in Auburn will help to further improve both the company's environmental credentials and its cost savings.
The achievement of a ninth site to reach zero-waste-to-landfill status highlights the ongoing efforts made by P&G to realize its more long-term sustainability goals and visions. These broader objectives include having zero manufacturing waste sent to landfills globally, and a target of less than 0.5% of disposed manufacturing waste by 2020.
Although P&G's latest announcement has been commended by environmental groups, such moves towards corporate sustainability are swiftly becoming a necessary feature on most fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company agendas. With P&G's latest attempts to reduce its global footprint following Unilever's announcement last month that it would be halving its environmental impact by 2020, it is becoming increasingly clear that green initiatives are no longer enough to distinguish multinational corporations and thereby influence consumer shopping behaviors.