Procter & Gamble, Target, PepsiCo and software company SAP SuccessFactors are among the founding partners of a collective formed to promote sustainability innovations and solutions.
The coalition, named Brands For Good, made its official debut on Wednesday at the flagship event for Sustainable Brands, a global community of brand innovators.
The founding member companies made the following three commitments:
- Embed environmental and social purpose into the heart of its brand promise, products and experiences.
- Use marketing, communications and brand influence to make sustainable living accessible, aspirational and rewarding.
- Work together to transform the field of marketing to shift behaviors and drive positive impact with people, communities and the planet we share.
"This is a new movement and industry standpoint to collectively advance sustainability," P&G chief brand officer Marc Pritchard said in an exclusive trade interview with the Path to Purchase Institute's Rise magazine.
Other founding member companies of the group include Dentsu Aegis Network, National Geographic, Nestle Waters, SC Johnson and Visa.
Having a retailer like Target involved as a founding member is critical to the coalition's mission, says Virginie Helias, P&G's first chief sustainability officer.
In a separate interview with Rise, Helias said the retailer can reinforce messaging on sustainability during the purchase journey, help consumers see the value base and ensure they choose what is most responsible.
"If it's promoting responsible consumption, then the retailer is the key part of that," Helias said.
Helias said participating in Brands for Good will help P&G meet its long-term goals for societal change regarding sustainability. Its Ambition 2030 goals include having all of its product packaging be recyclable or reusable.
Helias distinguishes between what is in P&G's control (its brands and employees) and outside its control (suppliers and society).
"We must be held accountable," Helias said. "We must invest time to meet goals."
We need to empower, reward and enable P&G employees to be our best ambassadors, Helias said.
"What's more remote, will take more collaboration and time (to change), but we are very committed to do that," Helias said. "That's the only way that we can address those huge changes at the scale that is needed."
Each company in Brands For Good will continue its own individual execution and innovations. P&G is focused on making its sustainable products irresistible and retaining retail execution at a great value, Pritchard said.
So while each company is innovating and trying to retain its market share, collectively they can still come together to have a more powerful impact, he said. He compared it to the aphorism "a rising tide lifts all boats."
Many of the participating companies in Brands For Good are already making strides toward sustainability, Pritchard said. He cites the Tide PurClean detergent and also the company's involvement in Loop, which touts a zero-waste system. The U.S. pilot launched on May 21 in New York and other Mid-Atlantic states.
Although it is too early to talk metrics regarding the U.S. pilot of Loop, Helias says it has been amazing to see the awareness of the idea spread in the market. The pilot is the result of two years of research, she said.
"In order to make progress we need to have sustainability embedded at the heart of what we stand for, how we innovate and how we communicate," Helias said.