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Procter & Gamble Set to Begin New Sustainability Effort

Beginning in January, the company will start shipping its first products that include sustainable and recyclable plastic sourced from Brazilian sugarcane.

Beginning in January, Procter & Gamble will start shipping its first products that include sustainable and recyclable plastic sourced from Brazilian sugarcane.

Beauty is the first category from the consumer products giant to kick off the new sustainable effort, to be seen specifically in CoverGirl’s new NatureLuxe Silk Foundation. Items within Pantene and Max Factor are slated to utilize the new sustainable packaging later in 2011, said Jenny Rushmore, sustainability leader at P&G Beauty & Grooming.

“It will include a very small amount of the sugarcane-derived packaging, using a pilot quantity that was made available to us from the sugarcane-plastic manufacturer,” said Rushmore, “As we learn, it is our intention to increase the amounts of bioresin we use over time.”

P&G reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability and meeting its goal that by 2020 it will use 30 percent renewable energy in manufacturing and will be replacing 25 percent of its petroleum-based materials with renewable materials.

P&G would not disclose what percentage levels its renewable energy in manufacturing currently are, but Rushmore said their 2020 goal “is a significant increase” over what is being practiced now.

Rushmore added that P&G is working with architect and “Cradle to Cradle” author William McDonough to build more environmentally friendly manufacturing facilities worldwide, and that a hair care plant in Romania was completed in the fourth quarter. It produces 50 percent lower carbon emissions per unit of production compared to P&G’s most current sustainable plant, according to the firm.