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Virginie Helias headshot

It's Our Home: How Small Actions at Home Can Make a Big Difference for Our Planet 

By Virginie Helias
Procter and Gamble Small Actions at Home

Editor's note: This article series is sponsored by Procter & Gamble and produced by the TriplePundit editorial team.

We all want to do our part to protect the planet, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. According to a study we recently conducted in the U.S. — which is consistent with research we’ve conducted in multiple markets around the world — while 72 percent of people want to do more to be sustainable at home, less than half make environmentally conscious choices at home as much as they’d like. And for those who don’t act sustainably, "not knowing how" is the biggest barrier. 

The opportunity is closer to us than we might think. Among the 28 sectors of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, “homes” are in the top three, as big as road transportation. Homes are certain to become an even more critical source of emissions, as the electricity we use at home — accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic — is expected to nearly double by 2050. Closing this intention-to-action gap and unlocking change at home has the potential to help mitigate the climate crisis.

In celebration of Earth Week and as part of our commitment to inspire responsible consumption among the 5 billion consumers we serve every day, we’re launching It's Our Home, our new campaign to highlight how small actions in our homes can cumulatively make a meaningful difference for our common home, planet Earth.   

Through this campaign, P&G and our brands are committing to use our voice, reach, innovation and expertise to help people embrace sustainable living at home. 

Change agents in our homes are younger and mightier than ever

The change agents inspiring these simple choices at home are not celebrities, politicians or scientists; in fact, nearly 9 out of 10 parents reported that they are most likely to be influenced by their children to be more sustainable at home.  Children are becoming champions of sustainability, sparking kitchen table debates and educating family members on small positive actions. This insight inspired P&G’s new short film, It’s Our Home, in which Luisa helps her family make simple daily choices to protect our planet. 

Small changes can make a world of difference

Were you aware of the fact that using the dishwasher actually saves water compared to washing dishes by hand? Did you know that closing the tap while brushing your teeth can save more than 3,000 gallons of water every year? The small changes we make in our daily routines — such as using cold water for laundry, taking shorter showers or turning off the tap while shaving — can have a big impact. 

That’s why our brands continue to look for new ways to enable sustainable habits at home. Cascade knows that even small dishwasher loads can save water and is encouraging families to skip the pre-rinse with its “Do It Every Night” ad campaign. A running sink can use up to four gallons of water every two minutes, while an Energy Star-certified dishwasher uses less than four gallons per cycle. So, if you spend just 10 minutes per day handwashing your dishes, then choosing your dishwasher for your daily load of dishes and skipping the pre-rinse can save you up to 100 gallons a week. 

At P&G, we believe that sustainability can be a driver of irresistible superiority and innovation can make responsible consumption irresistible. Our brands are making it simple for households to be more sustainable without tradeoffs in product performance or convenience. Washing on cold with Tide provides a better clean (than the bargain brand on hot), while Dawn Powerwash Dish Spray creates spray-activated suds without water to get dishes clean without soaking, so there’s no need to use the faucet until the final rinse. 

Making an impact with everyday purchases

You can participate in the It’s Our Home movement through P&G Good Everyday, our new rewards program powered by our brands that helps turn everyday actions into acts of good. Through this program, consumers earn points that can be redeemed for rewards — and as they earn, we make donations to causes they care about. For example, thanks to our partners at the Arbor Day Foundation, consumers can pledge to recycle or donate their points to plant a tree, helping to create a legacy of doing good together. 

Doing more for our planet, our home 

Sustainability has been embedded in how P&G does business for decades, and we’re continually reducing the impact of our operations. We are committed to positively impacting homes, communities and the planet — especially in the areas of packaging, climate and water. Over the past 10 years, we have reduced our absolute GHG emissions by 50 percent, reached zero manufacturing waste to landfill across all sites, and doubled the use of recycled resin in plastic packaging.  

While there is a lot of work still ahead of us, we’re making progress on our Ambition 2030 goals, including reducing manufacturing emissions by 50 percent, purchasing 100 percent renewable electricity, making 100 percent of packaging recyclable or reusable, and reducing virgin petroleum plastic packaging by 50 percent. Later this year, P&G will issue a climate transition action plan outlining the company’s plans toward the long-term objective of net zero emissions for Scope 1 and 2 (direct emissions and those generated by purchased electricity), as well as elements of Scope 3 (supply chain) emissions.

As part of our commitment to Lead with Love, we believe that every action we take — as companies, brands and individuals — can make the world a better place. This decade represents a critical window of opportunity to accelerate progress toward a more sustainable and equitable world.  

Together, we can protect our planet, our common home, now and for generations to come. 

Image courtesy of Procter & Gamble 

Virginie Helias headshot

With more than thirty years in brand management and innovation, Virginie has broad experience across multiple categories which has built her skills in global to local brand management. She has worked on several of P&G’s multi-billion dollar brands, including: Pantene, Ariel/Tide and Pampers. Virginie has extensive international experience, having been based in France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States. Today, Virginie serves as P&G’s Chief Sustainability Officer where her mission is to develop the company’s strategies and goals on sustainability and operationalize them across businesses and regions.

Read more stories by Virginie Helias