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P&G Unveils New Strategy To Address Global Water Crisis

River of Progress to 2030 includes new goal to restore more water than is consumed during use of P&G products in two high water-stressed areas.

Procter & Gamble has announced what it calls a major expansion of its environmental sustainability efforts that will make more water available in critically water-stressed areas around the world. The effort includes a global portfolio of water restoration projects which will 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, the maker of Tide and Olay said.

The initiative includes 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, according to P&G.

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.”

New 2030 Goals

Nearly one-third of people globally are experiencing water scarcity and that number is expected to double by 2025. The new goals and projects focus on addressing the water that does not go back down the drain or to local systems from our operations and, for the first time in our industry, from consumer use of products. P&G 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 has added two new goals to its already comprehensive program:

Making products: Restore more water than is consumed1 at P&G manufacturing sites in 18 water-stressed areas around the world.

Use of products: Restore more water than is consumed when using P&G products in the high water-stressed metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and Mexico City. These metropolitan areas account for over half of the total water consumed during the use of P&G products across 18 priority water-stressed areas.

We will achieve these goals through partnerships with leading environmental organizations and restoration projects that improve, manage, and protect water resources.

“P&G’s water target applies a rigorous analytical approach and complements the other aspects within their comprehensive water stewardship strategy. 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,” said Colin Strong, corporate water stewardship lead, World Resources Institute (WRI) Aqueduct Program.

New Projects

P&G said it is working with on-the-ground partners who have a deep knowledge of local challenges to support solutions that will result in meaningful benefits to water in each basin.

There are 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 (CRIT) 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, said P&G.

“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 said 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.

Innovation and Partnerships

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

• Providing Clean Drinking Water to People in Need. P&G aims 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 (CSDW) Program.

• Accelerating Water Innovation at Scale. P&G is 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. Together with its brands, P&G will continue to create and share products, tools and information to help consumers use less water at home.

Source: P&G
Innovations highlighted by P&G include Cascade efforts to help 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. An innovative formula containing enzymes that latch on to and break down food particles, Cascade Platinum gives consumers a superior clean without the pre-wash. By skipping the sink with Cascade and choosing the dishwasher, households can save up to 100 gallons of water per week.

Pantene and Rejoice have developed No Rinse Conditioners that enable people to condition and nourish their hair without the need for water. A new light and fast absorbing formula is applied outside of the shower on damp or dry hair, leaving hair more manageable and softer to the touch so it can be dried and styled as usual.

Fairy brilliant cleaning delivers excellent results, without pre-washing. By skipping the pre-wash by hand before using the dishwasher, households can save up to 12 liters of water per 2 minutes on average.

We’re continuing to make progress toward making our 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 our operations and the local communities where we operate.

“Creating a ripple effect toward a water positive future requires widespread solutions – from manufacturing and product innovations that improve consumers’ lives in a sustainable way, to restoring water for nature, wildlife, and communities,” said Virginie Helias, chief sustainability officer. “While there will always be more to learn, P&G is dedicated to doing our part to care for our planet, our shared home.”

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