Future Friendly 5 – how inspired acts can make a big difference

Irwin Lee, P&G UK and Ireland Vice President and Managing Director

At P&G we recognize that we are accountable as a company to grow responsibly and sustainably. Environmental challenges such as solid waste, climate change and water scarcity affect everyone. Sustainability is an essential part of business and can only become increasingly important.

In fact, we have accelerated our commitment to sustainability with a new long-term environmental vision to: power our plants with 100% renewable energy; use 100% renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging; send zero consumer and manufacturing waste to landfill; and design products that delight consumers while maximising the conservation of resources.

As well as being led by the CEO, I believe a huge part of making a company sustainable is ensuring all our employees understand our sustainability strategy and take personal responsibility to apply its principles to their job. A team of over 700 employees ensure that our products are safe for consumers and the environment, while site environment leaders oversee sustainability programmes at our manufacturing sites.

As one of the biggest consumer goods companies in the world, we appreciate the opportunity we have to effect significant change beyond our operations, through our consumers. For that reason, we launched Future Friendly five years ago – a partnership between P&G brands and Britain’s top environmental organisations designed to help consumers to save energy and water and reduce waste and, at the same time, save money.

There is a significant consumer segment we call the “sustainable mainstream” who are interested in sustainability but they won’t pay much more for this or make do with less performance. They won’t accept tradeoffs. Our research suggests this is about 70% of the UK population. Future Friendly informs and shapes consumer behaviour by providing practical energy saving and conservation advice, and Future Friendly branded products combine environmental benefits without losing the value, convenience and effectiveness that consumers expect from P&G.

We encourage every household to save resources and money through their own ‘inspired little acts’ and appreciate how small, everyday changes at home can create a united wave of action from street, to town, to region – and contribute to a better tomorrow. We started here in the UK and now stretch to Europe, Canada and the US. So far we’ve reached 50 million households who’ve been able to conserve resources, and we’re expanding each year.

Each Future Friendly product meets strict, clearly articulated performance criteria that they must show at least a 10% reduction in waste of environmental resources, such as energy, water and packaging, either in their production or in their use. By using everyday household brands that they recognise and trust like Ariel, Lenor, Fairy and Flash, people can reduce the amount of water or energy they use or waste they create by up to 50% in very simple and achievable ways. Through dedicated product innovations, we have added Pampers, Gillette and Olay to the Future Friendly Brands in the last year alone.

The jewel in the crown of Future Friendly is our annual nationwide search for communities and individuals committed to promoting sustainable living through their actions. Across the country, thousands are doing their bit to help the environment. P&G’s Future Friendly Awards, now in their fifth year, acknowledge those efforts by rewarding local community projects championing grassroots ‘green’ initiatives, and awarding a national winner £10,000 to support their efforts.

I’m delighted to report a record number of entries and votes for Future Friendly 5. For the first time this year, we are also recognising individuals - ‘Little’ and ‘Big Heroes’ aged under and over 18 respectively - for their hard work.

Ultimately, our purpose is to improve lives, now and for generations to come. You can hear more about Future Friendly and the finalists’ inspirational stories through Twitter, Facebook or the P&G corporate press office.

Irwin Lee
P&G UK and Ireland Vice President and Managing Director

Future Friendly partners

“As a partner of the Future Friendly Awards, the Energy Saving Trust is keen to recognise the outstanding work by communities and individuals to reduce their environmental impact. We can all do our bit to save energy and reduce our carbon footprint and we welcome this opportunity to acknowledge the sustainable actions, big and small, of people around the country.”

Julian Roberts, Head of Communications, Energy Saving Trust

Future Friendly products

  • Ariel Gel technology gives energy savings of up to 50% washing at 15°c instead of 40°c
  • 20% thinner nappy core and 10% less manufacturing material in Pampers’ Active Fit range
  • Fairy HDW uses up to 20% less packaging, and up to 2 fewer bottles per year than the next leading brand

Future Friendly Awards

  • This year, Little and Big Hero individual prizes to the value of £1,000
  • One national prize of a £10,000 bursary and runner-up prizes of £1,000 each
  • The Project Group (FF4 winners) recycle waste into worthwhile objects and 1st Clanfield Scout Group (FF3 winners) are the ‘world’s greenest scout group’

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