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P&G Rethinking Brands Around Power Of Purpose

August 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
In April, P&G announced its “Ambition 2030” goals that would “enable and inspire positive impact on the environment and society.” As part of this effort, the company set out its “Brand 2030” criteria that outline actions brands can take to become a “force for good and force for growth.” In an August interview with Forbes, P&G's Chief Sustainability Officer Virginie Helias, gave some details, saying the process starts with the brand defining its specific ambition: “What is their social or environmental commitment that they are going to choose? It needs to be measurable, it needs to authentically fit with the brand equity so there is no ‘greenwashing,’ and it needs to be brought to life with tangible acts.”

Actions are built around this brand ambition, with innovation to change packaging, communication to promote responsible consumption and reductions in the environmental impact across the supply chain. Helias gives Herbal Essences as an example. It defined its ambition as ‘enabling people to experience the positive power of nature and protect biodiversity,’ which guided the brand to secure a partnership with and endorsement from Kew Botanical Gardens, a global authority on plants. In another illustration, Head & Shoulders built a bottle from recycled beach plastic, a move that inspired even sustainability skeptics and caused the brand to change its equity color from white to gray to reflect the color of recycled plastic. Helias says this was a “brilliant, consumer-friendly idea and people wanted to be part of this, making it exciting and cool."[Image Credit: © Procter & Gamble]
Afdhel Aziz, "The Power Of Purpose: How Virginie Helias And P&G Are Making Sustainability 'Irresistible'", Forbes Media , August 05, 2019, © Forbes Media LLC
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