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P&G Unveils New Strategy To Help Address Global Water Crisis

Includes a first-of-its-kind goal to restore more water than is consumed during use of P&G products in two high water-stressed areas.

Published 06-13-22

Submitted by P&G

P&G's Water Goals infographic

Water scarcity affects every continent on our planet. While some people aren’t seeing its impact in their communities, others are facing extreme water stress. In fact, nearly one-third of people already live in water-stressed regions and two-thirds of the global population are projected to be by 2025.

We are announcing a major expansion to our Ambition 2030 sustainability efforts across climate, nature, waste, and water that will include making more water available in water-stressed areas around the world. This extended 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.

“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 Chief Executive Officer. “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.”

The significance of these efforts, and P&G’s commitment, is highlighted by 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.

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.

Restoring Water for People and Nature, Our New 2030 Goals
P&G has added two new goals to its already comprehensive program:

  • Making of our products: Restore more water than is consumed1 at P&G manufacturing sites located in 18 water-stressed areas around the world.
  • Use of products: Restore more water than is consumed2 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 water consumed during the use of P&G products across our 18 priority water-stressed areas.

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

Our new goals and projects focus on addressing the water that does not go back to local systems from our operations and, for the first time in our industry, from consumer use of products. We worked closely with the World Resources Institute (WRI) Water Program to ensure our new water targets align with the best science and emerging target-setting practices.

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

New Projects for Greater Impact
We are continuing to work with on-the-ground partners who have a deep knowledge of local challenges, communities, and landscapes to support solutions that will result in meaningful benefits to water-stressed areas. Today, we’re announcing 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 to restore natural habitats, improve water quality, preserve cultural history, and enhance irrigation efficiency for local communities and important wetland habitats in the western United States.

These projects are in addition to the eight projects we 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.

“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, we will work with new and existing partners to support a diverse portfolio of long-term projects in other water-stressed areas around the globe that improve, manage, and protect water resources.

Responding to Water Challenges Through Innovation and Partnerships
We know we can have a greater impact when we work together. Through longstanding partnerships, we have brought our experience in innovation and consumer understanding to unlock new solutions to water challenges. As part of our new comprehensive strategy, we are building on our existing efforts:

  • Providing Clean Drinking Water to People in Need. We aim to provide 25 billion liters of clean drinking water to children and families in need around the world by 2025 through our Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) Program.
  • Accelerating Water Innovation at Scale. We are leveraging our 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 our brands, we will continue to create and share products, tools, and information to help our consumers use less water at home, because we know that small actions at home can make a world of difference for our planet. We are focused on developing innovations that deliver irresistible superiority in a sustainable way, including:
  • Cascade is helping to reduce daily water use in households across the U.S. 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. And with an innovative formula containing enzymes that latch on to and break down food particles, Cascade Platinum gives consumers a superior clean without the pre-wash3. By skipping the sink with Cascade and choosing the dishwasher, households can save up to 100 gallons of water per week4.
  • Pantene and Rejoice have developed No Rinse Conditioners that enable people to condition and nourish their hair without the need for water. Thanks to its light and fast absorbing formula, this new conditioning offering 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's 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 recognize water is essential for the making and use of our products, which means our responsibility to act starts in our own operations. 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 improving how people use water in their homes and cities, 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.”

With the support of a wide range of partners, our strategy will continue to evolve alongside our understanding of the complex issues facing the world’s water resources. We are committed to addressing water challenges within water-stressed areas where we operate, because we know it’s where we can make the biggest difference.

For more information about our efforts to restore water for people and nature, please visit P&G’s Water Positive Future Strategy and our blog post, “A Closer Look at P&G’s New Strategy to Help Address Global Water Crisis”. To learn more about our ESG efforts, visit our ESG website and our 2021 Citizenship Report.

1 Water that evaporates during the manufacturing of our products or is incorporated into the finished product manufactured at these sites.
Water from household leaks and evaporation during the use of our products.
50% more cleaning ingredients v. Cascade Complete ActionPacsTM.
With Energy Star certified dishwasher vs. washing dishes at a running sink for 11 minutes per day.

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P&G defines our commitment to sustainable development as "ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come." We have a long heritage as a sustainability leader and we remain committed to improving consumers' lives through P&G brands and by contributing to the sustainability of our planet and the communities in which we live and work.

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