P&G Ramps up Waste Reduction Solutions in In-Store and Online Retailing

P&G Ramps up Waste Reduction Solutions in In-Store and Online Retailing

Procter & Gamble (P&G) Philippines​​ continues to intensify its efforts in creating a more sustainable world with its Project LESS program, a drive to expand the company’s efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in its business ecosystem, especially in its retail delivery operations.

This latest program makes progress is often overlooked customer and consumer touchpoints, such as point of sales materials (POSM), which spans materials such as displays, posters, shelf branding, leaflets, dispensers, and more, and in last-mile packaging for e-commerce. 

P&G Philippines recently customized its product bundling packaging by converting laminate-based bellybands and stickers to 100% FSC-certified papers; reducing bundling material usage and resulting in a 380,000 kg reduction in plastic waste compared to the company’s previous year’s consumption.

P&G also developed collapsible, reusable, and paper-based in-store displays called “Flexi POSMs” to increase the reusability of its displays and reduce its prior single-use displays.  The collapsible design of P&G’s Flexi POSMs allows the company to transport more displays at a time to retail partners and helps reduce transportation emissions. To date, more than 80% of P&G’s POSMs across all its categories in various retail stores in the country are already made of reusable materials that partner suppliers can easily refurbish. With this shift to reusable displays, P&G successfully reduced its use of virgin material by approximately 20,000 kg. Prior single-use displays will be collected by the company for recycling. 

On top of reducing solid waste and emissions, this change also aims to maintain or improve the overall customer and consumer experience to ensure that more sustainable alternatives do not compromise superior product quality and presence in-store. 

In P&G, we integrate sustainability by adopting meaningful changes in our business strategy and operations. It is possible to do good for the environment while serving our consumers and customers with superior quality products and experiences, and creating more value for our business and our partners,” said Anna Legarda, P&G’s Communications Director.

Sustainable efforts in e-commerce

The rise in online shopping has grown exponentially in the last two years due to limited mobility needs and convenience. A common method to protect products during delivery entails using excessive amounts of plastic wrap. In an effort to reduce this and find alternatives, P&G  launched a regional sustainability partnership with Lazada to recycle cartons from their Cabuyao plant for use as last-mile packaging in e-commerce delivery. Cartons converted into honeycomb-like protective wraps are now being used as replacements for the previous plastic bubble wrap paddings. The honeycomb-like protective wrap ensures the same quality of packaging and delivery compared to using plastic bubble wrap.  As of August 2022, P&G has supplied Lazada with over 4,000 kilograms of cartons for recycling.

(Sample upcycled cartons for use as last-mile packaging in Lazada)

Additionally, P&G produced “Ship-In-Own-Container” eCommerce packaging for Olay bundles on its e-commerce platforms. The initiative eliminates the need for additional customization and last-mile packaging materials such as bubble wrap, fillers, and tape.

When small changes make a huge impact 

As one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world and in the country, even small changes in P&G’s products and operations implemented at scale across its business make a huge impact.  Project LESS shows its commitment to making changes where already possible while also working on long-term packaging innovations.  It has also made packaging changes in the past years. Bottles of Herbal Essences bio: renew shampoo are made with 25% post-consumer resin (recycled plastic). P&G also eliminated plastic overwraps on Safeguard soap multipacks replacing them with recycled paper cartons. This reduced 8,500 km of potential plastic waste or a thousand times the length of the Boracay coastline. 

Recently, P&G Philippines was recognized at the 2022 Asia CEO Awards with the Sustainability Company of The Year Circle of Excellence Award. The award recognizes those that achieved important success in environmental progress and demonstrated leadership and commitment to sustainability.