Procter and Gamble undertakes a large number of activities which aim at transforming society in a progressive direction. Selected initiatives are summarized in this post.
The firm has broadened its objectives well beyond financial values. The goals in the Ambition 2030 enable and inspire positive impact on the environment and society while creating value for the firm and the consumer. Social and environmental responsibility is an integral component of every brand. P&G wants to be a force for good and a force for growth. The firm believes that the more it can integrate and build Citizenship into how it does business, the bigger the impact P&G can have on the people it serves, the communities where these people live and work and the broader world. In turn, this helps the firm to grow and build its business.
Broadly speaking, P&G is making meaningful connections in two ways. First, it works closely together with numerous business, not-for-profit and state organisations to raise the sustainability of its own operations. It also connects with such organisations to improve the sustainability balance of the suppliers and the end consumers of its products and packaging, which will have a far greater impact. Second, it has run numerous internal and external campaigns to address societal issues and steer towards a society where all can fully participate. For example, P&G aspires to a world which is free of gender bias. The marketing campaign #LikeAGirl challenges the demeaning stereotypes of ineffectual girls associated with this slogan, presenting images of resolute and forceful girls. The campaign #NOCOMPETITION showcases top female athletes who advocate eliminating toxic competition in beauty amongst women.
Such P&G marketing campaigns “sell themselves”, as it were, in the sense that the campaigns attract attention and are referenced and shown in other media by journalists, influencers and private individuals. For example, the advertisements “The Look”, “The Talk” and “The Choice” inspire people of all colors from around the world to take action against racism. The many articles and posts about the ads have raised their impact, stimulating a community of like-minded people who support an active engagement in anti-racism.
Initiatives which are more closely tied to the consumption of P&G products capture the minds of the targeted customers to change social behaviours for the better. For example, in Africa many girls who have entered puberty stay home from school on those days when they have their period due to shyness and insecurity. The Always brand of tampons ran a campaign to encourage confidence, a sense of personal care and self-security via use of the product. The rates of school absence among girls were lowered. In India, 70% of children believe it’s a woman’s responsibility to do the laundry. The Ariel brand of washing powder updated its #ShareTheLoad campaign with a new film that asks, “Isn’t it time we change the way we raise our sons and teach them what we teach our daughters?” Since the beginning of the campaign, the percentage of Indian men who think “household chores are a woman’s job” dropped from 79% to 52%.
P&G looks to grow by, among other things, a convergence in the methods of combating social issues. For example, 1.3 billion people in the world have some kind of disability. P&G implements overlapping methods to assist them in their everyday. Inclusive design is a technique in product development to ensure that products are accessible to as many people as possible, e.g. even those with arthritis can open the package and even those in a wheelchair can use the product. Training programs help disabled people to function in the workplace; more crucially, training programs are also developed to help those working with disabled people to understand how they can best behave to optimize the teamwork. P&G promotes the free Be My Eyes app, which brings sight to people with low or no vision. The app establishes a live video connection between the visually disabled and sighted volunteers. The volunteers can help with many everyday challenges, from checking expiry dates to finding lost items.
For P&G, serving five billion people gives the brands the unique opportunity to delight consumers through superior product performance and spark conversations, influence attitudes, change behaviors and drive positive impact on society and the environment. The firm intends for each brand to define a commitment to help solve a societal challenge in which the brand is uniquely and meaningfully able to contribute.