Procter & Gamble (P&G) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL) have signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to develop new tools intended to optimize sustainability improvements in manufacturing facilities, and their associated supply chains.
These improvements will directly address the endpoints of P&G’s long-term environmental sustainability vision, announced in September of 2010. This vision includes: 1) Powering its plants with 100% renewable energy; 2) Using 100% renewable materials or recyclate for all its products and packaging; 3) Having zero consumer or manufacturing waste going to landfills; and 4) Designing products that delight consumers while maximizing the conservation of resources.
In order to meet this commitment, new methods and tools are needed to help optimize design and decision-making across a wide range of operations and supply choices, as well as various environmental sustainability measures. The EPA has developed a comprehensive list of sustainability metrics and performance indicators that can be used to quantify sustainability in a manufacturing and supply chain context, while P&G has a diverse set of manufacturing operations and supply chains that can be leveraged to optimize how these metrics are used to guide improvement choices. The work under this CRADA will leverage P&G’s manufacturing and supply chain knowledge with the EPA’s work on metrics to develop a modeling and assessment tool that can be used to assess future product design, material sourcing, and manufacturing options.
P&G will be developing this framework based on metrics associated with its tissue and towel products. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to be at the leading edge of developing tools to support the entire company’s effort to improve the sustainability of our products and our operations,” says Stefano Zenezini, vice president of Product Supply for P&G’s business unit that makes Charmin, Bounty and Puffs. “We’ve made great progress in areas like energy and water use reduction, but really need these new tools to help guide the increasingly complex choices we will be making as we continue to strive to meet the vision the company has committed to.”
EPA’s NRMRL director Cynthia Sonich-Mullin, says, “We are very pleased that we can bring our resources together under this CRADA to produce tools that will not only benefit P&G, but other companies as well. Our goal is to develop innovative solutions that have broad applicability in protecting human health and the environment.”
The duration of this CRADA is 5 years.