P&G marketing to showcase sustainability efforts

Procter & Gamble plans to “sing” about sustainability as it shifts its marketing focus to communicate things that have a real impact on customers’ lives.


The move comes as part of P&G’s sustainability update, with its long-term vision to reach 100 per cent renewable energy and zero waste going to landfill.

Speaking to Marketing Week, P&G’s director of global sustainability, Virginie Helias, said that starts with making sustainability a part of innovation, which P&G is focused on to drive long-term growth. That is an important aspect of the P&G brand, with the firm shifting its marketing focus away from promotions to innovation.

“The holy grail is connecting sustainability with brand equity. If we don’t then it won’t appeal to our customers,” she said.

P&G is using multiple strategies to communicate its sustainability message. Helias said on pack is a very important medium, with consumers looking for information on environmental impact, such as whether waste is recyclable.

For other products, sustainability is integrated into advertising, with its cold wash campaign with Ariel running across multiple touchpoints including print, TV and online. Helias believes brands are important in educating consumers and getting them to change their behaviour.

“Brands can make an education campaign resonate. Our “Turn to 30” campaign was 10 times more powerful because it included Ariel. It creates a link between what consumers buy and how they behave,” she added.

Helias said it is also important for P&G to communicate its sustainability message because it is the first topic its customers want to talk about when they engage with the brand online. She said that the level of transparency was increasing dramatically, with the firm having to use scientists and expert knowledge to answer customers’ questions.

P&G released its 15th annual sustainability report yesterday (18 November), providing updates on areas including the environment, waste and social responsibility. Progress includes transitioning eight of its manufacturing sites in the UK to sending zero waste to landfill, while overall across the region 94.4 per cent of waste by tonnage is recycled.

Globally, the number of laundry loads washed in cold water rose from 38 per cent to 50 per cent, mainly driven by an increase in Western Europe.