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P&G Joins 200 Companies Working Toward Net-Zero Emissions by 2040

Sept. 27, 2021
The global consumer products giant becomes the latest corporation to sign The Climate Pledge and continue down the path to net-zero emissions by 2040.

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As part of a larger contingency of companies aiming to achieve net-zero carbon by 2040, Procter & Gamble is pledging to reach that goal over the next two decades. By signing The Climate Pledge, the global consumer products maker is one of 200 organizations that want to reach their net-zero carbon emission goals about 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement’s 2050 target.

The balance between the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere, net-zero is achieved when the amount of GHG added is equal to or less than the amount taken away.

Current Climate Pledge signatories—which also include HP, Accenture, Salesforce, ASOS and Nespresso—may collectively mitigate 1.98 billion metric tons (BMT) of carbon emissions from a 2020 baseline. Global Optimism says this is equivalent to 5.4% of current global annual emissions—demonstrating the collective impact The Climate Pledge is expected to have in addressing climate change and prompting more action to tackle the climate crisis.

Tackling a Major Problem

Global Optimism says companies that have signed The Climate Pledge are already progressing toward reducing their carbon emissions. Since 2010, for example, Procter & Gamble has reduced its absolute emissions across global operations by 52%. The manufacturer recently announced that it would reach net-zero emissions across its operations, transportation and supply chain—from raw material to retailer—by 2040.

Procter & Gamble has also increased its purchase of renewable electricity by 97% and partnered with consumers to make sustainability effortless at home with products like Tide and Ariel, which have helped reduce carbon emissions by 15 million tons through cold-water washing, Global Optimism reports.

“Addressing climate change effectively requires collaboration across industries and credible science-based actions,” said P&G’s David S. Taylor, in a press release. “P&G has made significant progress over the past decade and we know we must do more. The task ahead is urgent, difficult, and much bigger than any single company can solve alone. P&G is proud to join The Climate Pledge as we work together to preserve our shared home for generations to come.”

Supply Chain & Logistics

In The company behind Tide and Bounty pledges net zero emissions by 2040,” CNN says the

inclusion of P&G’s supply chain and logistics is critical because those emissions are about 10 times greater than the company’s own operations. “Without that, the company wouldn't really be making a dent in its carbon footprint,” CNN points out.

The company says it currently gets 97% of its power from renewable electricity and the goal is to get to 100% by 2030. P&G is also trying to minimize the negative impact on forests caused by its use of palm oil and wood pulp, two commodities that can cause deforestation.

“This is critical because trees naturally help fight climate change by capturing and storing huge amounts of carbon, all for free,” CNN reports. “About 2.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide -- one third of the CO2 released from burning fossil fuels, is absorbed by forests every year.”

Getting Creative

P&G says it reduced its absolute emissions by 52% globally from 2010-2020 through energy efficiency and renewable electricity, Ideastream reports. By 2030, it hopes to reduce emissions across operations by 50% and reduce emissions through its supply chain by 40%.

The plan to reduce emissions includes investing in 100% renewable electricity (the company is already at about 97%) and decarbonizing its supply chain and logistics. The latter includes investing in greener technology, materials and packaging.

The company is also investing in a “making sustainability effortless at home” campaign. For example, one of its latest commercial campaigns enlisted celebrities like rapper-turned-actor Ice T, wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin and actor Mr. T to encourage people to wash their clothes in cold water with their new laundry detergent, which uses less energy, according to Ideastream.

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About the Author

Bridget McCrea | Contributing Writer | Supply Chain Connect

Bridget McCrea is a freelance writer who covers business and technology for various publications.