Earlier this week, Procter and Gamble released its “Designed to Matter” annual sustainability report.  The report, which can be downloaded here, provides an excellent reference for how sustainability goals can be established and tracked across the extended supply chain. It also notes the value of internal employees in contributing innovative or novel ideas in addressing sustainability goals.

P&G has produced a sustainability report since 2002, and not only tracks its internal goals and initiatives in each area of sustainability, but also reports on the green impact of its individual products it sells to consumers.

Internal supply chain and other initiatives have led to a cumulative 53 percent reduction in waste disposal, along with a 52 percent reduction in water and energy usage.  That is fairly impressive.  If you read through the detail of the report, you can note that P&G has shifted its European transportation strategies to leverage more use of rail, setting a goal to move from 10 to 30 percent rail movements by 2015.  In North America, intermodal transport has increased by 30%, saving 11 million liters of diesel fuel.

Contrastingly, in consumer product offerings, P&G acknowledges that while green products have proven to be attractive, the majority of consumers are unwilling to sacrifice value or quality in order to have a more eco-friendly product.  My translation is that in the current global recessionary environment, price apparently trumps green. 

Our community should shout out a loud applause to P&G in its obvious long-term commitment toward sustainability in supply chain.

Bob Ferrari