Procter & Gamble Makes Great Strides in CR

I have noticed a number of interesting CR initiatives from Procter &Gamble hit the press recently.  I like to watch what BT’s big customers are doing in this space, and P&G is one of our big customers!  In 2008 we signed a $650 million outsourcing deal with them.

I have a vision that in time, companies will include sustainability criteria in selecting target customers, similar to how we include them in selecting our vendors.  After all, if you believe companies that implement good sustainability practices are more likely to be around for the long haul, you would be crazy not to include that as a selection criteria.   Especially for large, long term deals.  So I like to watch out for what our strategic customers are doing.

This article in calls out P&G for ‘Best Practices in Sustainability’. I particularly like that P&G have integrated sustainability with selected products and services and featured information on what they call “Future Friendly” products in their magazine (it goes to 50M households) using the ability of their brand to ‘Inform and Influence’ from my Four Dimensions of Sustainability.

I am skeptical that consumers will have the time and energy to understand detailed sustainability information on product packaging.  My hope for the future is in brands that build a reputation for sustainability and deliver that authentically and consistently in the products they deliver.  Kirk Perry’s (VP, North America P&G) quote in the article ‘be authentic in everything you say and do’ certainly seems to make that commitment.

And I like the company’s Clean Water Blogivation initiative because it uses the power of social networking to really engage people in the topic of water resources. I wanted to contribute a blog myself, but it is for female change agents and I am the wrong gender, so posting this on my own blog will have to suffice!

CIO Magazine did a set of awards this month on Sustainable Innovation. Of course it caught my eye because of the word ‘Sustainable’ in the title.  Turns out it was the more generic use of the word, but there on page six of the article is P&G again. This time featuring P&G’s CIO, Filippo Passerini and an amazing innovation which, according to the article, “lets focus-group participants walk into a room of large computer screens to evaluate life-size—though electronic—versions of new products and packaging placed on virtual store shelves. Eye tracking software follows where these potential customers look and for how long. This tells P&G what attracts consumers—the shape of the bottle, the color of the cap, the design of the label—and in what order.”

It’s not corporate responsibility, but it is fascinating and I bet there is a sustainability opportunity there in the technology somewhere.

So P&G is doing some really interesting stuff in the sustainability space. I would be interested in your thoughts on whether the sustainability relationship between vendors and their customers should be two way?

  1. Comments 2

  2. Jerome Schiavo 5:53 am on September 5, 2010

    Citizens who get lazy and rest on their past success are the ones who end up getting in trouble.

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