On 29/04/2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the Procter & Gamble Company website for the company's environmental policy or report. We also sent a questionnaire to the company and no response was received.

An environmental policy was deemed necessary to report on a company's environmental performance and set targets for reducing its impacts in the future. A strong policy would include two future, quantified environmental targets, demonstration by the company that it had a reasonable understanding of its main environmental impacts, be dated within two years and have its environmental data independently verified.

The company's 2020 Citizenship Report was viewed. The company demonstrated a good understanding of its main impacts. It specifically mentioned: packaging, energy, transportation, water and ingredients.

Two or more quantified future targets for 2030 were found which included:
1. "We will reduce our use of virgin petroleum plastic in packaging by 50%". It stated, "we announced this goal in 2019 and are in the early phases of implementing plans, we can report that our progress to date represents about a 4% reduction in virgin petroleum-based plastic packaging."
2. "P&G will improve its global upstream finished product freight emissions efficiency 50% by 2030 versus a 2020 baseline."

These targets were chosen above others which included: one on renewable energy (because some is purchased and may only be based on REGO certificates rather than directly buying renewable energy); one for a 35% increase in water efficiency (as it's baseline appeared to still be FY09/10 and it had already achieved a reduction of 27%).

It stated that "Our GHG emissions data has been verified by an external third party, Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA)", but the other environmental data was apparently not covered.

Overall, Procter & Gamble Company received a middle Ethical Consumer rating for Environmental Reporting and lost a half mark in this category.

Reference:

2020 Annual report (20 April 2021)

On 29/04/2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the website of Procter & Gamble Company, looking for information on what the company was doing to tackle climate change.

Ethical Consumer was looking for the company to satisfy the following criteria in its public statements and reports:

1.a For the company to discuss its areas of climate impact, and to discuss plausible ways it has cut them in the past, and ways that it will cut them in the future.

1.b For the company to have relevant sector-specific policies in place.

1.c For the company to not be involved in any particularly damaging projects like tar sands, oil or aviation, to not be subject to damning secondary criticism regarding it’s climate actions, and to have a policy to avoid investing in fossil fuels.

2. For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company).

3. For the company to go some way towards reporting its scope 3 emissions (emissions from the supply chain, investments and sold products).

4. For the company to have a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with international agreements (counted as the equivalent of at least 2.5% cut per year in scope 1&2 emissions), and to not count offsetting towards this target.

1.a
The company discussed: the expanded use of renewable electricity, scaling up renewable heating and cooling , energy conservation (eg upgrading air compressors to variable capacity, upgrading lighting controls to take better advantage of daylight and occupancy in addition to implementing energy management systems), and transportation (conversion to more efficient modalities (i.e., intermodal, low emissions, sustainable fuel, etc.), continued vehicle fill rate increase and further supply network optimization). This was considered to constitute an adequate discussion of its climate impacts.

1.b The company also had the following sector-specific policies: "No Deforestation and Peat (NDP) elements of our Responsible Sourcing Policy."

1.c The company was not found to be involved in particularly damaging projects such as fossil fuels.

2. The company reported its annual scope 1 and 2 emissions (on its www.pginvestor.com website) to be : 2,619,000 metric tons GHG in 2020.

3. The company reported on some scope 3 emissions including: Purchased goods and services, Upstream and downstream transportation and distribution, and Use of sold product.

4. The company had a target in line with international agreements: Reduce Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions by 50% vs. 2010 baseline. It was approved by the Science Based Target Initiative as Science Based Target aligned with a “well below 2° C pathway”

Overall, Procter & Gamble Company received a best Ethical Consumer rating for carbon management and reporting and was not marked down in the Climate Change category.

Reference:

2020 Annual report (20 April 2021)

In April 2021 Ethical Consumer searched Procter and Gamble's website for its policy on the use of potentially hazardous chemicals such as phthalates, parabens and triclosan. A page entitled 'ingredient questions' was found which discussed the use of parabens and phthalates in P&G products.

P&G's position on parabens and other preservatives was as follows:
"You can rest assured that all of our preservatives comply with the applicable regulations and safe limits wherever they are sold." The company also provided a table showing which preservatives were used in which products.

P&G's position on phthalates was as follows:
"We comply with all phthalate bans globally. In fact, we have removed the only phthalate that was used in our product fragrances even though agencies found it to be safe." A footnote added "We do not use these ingredients [phthalates] in new products and are exiting them from any current products." No timeline or cut-off date was provided.

P&G position on triclosan was as follows:
"We have already eliminated triclosan from our products globally and have an exit plan for our few remaining uses of triclocarban." No cut-off date was provided.

Because it did not use one of the chemicals in question (Triclosan), and had committed to not using phthalates in new products and phasing them out of old products but had no cut-off dates for ending the use of phthalates, and continued to use parabens, Procter and Gamble received Ethical Consumer's middle rating on toxics and lost half a mark under the Pollutions and Toxics category.

Reference:

Ingredients (23 April 2021)

In April 2021, Ethical Consumer searched Procter and Gamble’s website for the company's policy on the use of microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers. Its Ingredients page stated that all of the company’s products were microbead free. There was no acknowledgement of other microplastics or non-biogradable liquid polymers.

According to Beat the Microbead, there are more than 500 known microplastics ingredients that can be found in our personal care products such as toothpastes, face washes, scrubs and shower gels. They are tiny plastic particles that are added for their exfoliating properties, but sometimes purely for aesthetic purposes only.

A recent report by Code Check found that non-biodegradable liquid polymers were also prevalent across a wide range of cosmetic products. Like microplastics, these materials degrade with a similar difficulty in the environment and may cause similar harm.

In 2018, the UK government banned the use of microbeads in toothpastes, shower gels and facial scrubs. However, some products classified as “leave on” were not subject to the ban, this would include lotions, sun cream and makeup, as well as abrasive cleaning products. This ban did not extend to non-biodegradable liquid polymers.

Given that the company’s policy did not cover the use of all microplastics or the issue of non-biodegradable liquid polymer in its products, the company lost half a mark under Pollution & Toxics.

Reference:

Ingredients (23 April 2021)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer searched the P&G website for a cotton sourcing policy. Although the company sold products, such as tampons, made from cotton, no policy could be found.

According to Anti-Slavery international (ASI) website viewed by Ethical Consumer in August 2018, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were two of the world’s largest exporters of cotton, and every year their governments forcibly mobilised over one million citizens to grow and harvest cotton. Due to the high proportion of cotton likely to have come from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and the prevalence of forced labour in its production, the company lost half a mark in the Workers Rights category.

The Organic Trade Association website, www.ota.com, stated in July 2018 that cotton covered roughly 2.78% of global arable land, but accounted for 12.34% of all insecticide sales and 3.94% of herbicide sales. Due to the impacts of the widespread use of pesticides in cotton production worldwide the company also lost half a mark in the Pollution & Toxics category.

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), a non-profit pro biotech organisation, genetically modified cotton accounted for 80% of cotton grown in 2017. Due to the prevalence of GM cotton in cotton supply chains and the lack of any evidence that the company avoided it, it was assumed that some of the company's cotton products contained some GM material. As a result it lost half a mark under the Controversial Technology category.

Overall the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for its cotton sourcing policy.

Reference:

www.pg.co.uk (3 May 2019)

In May 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed Procter and Gamble's conflict minerals policy SEC form SD, available on the company's website.

Conflict minerals are minerals mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses, notably in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The minerals in question are Tantalum, Tin, Tungsten and Gold (3TG for short) and are key components of electronic devices, from mobile phones to televisions.

Ethical Consumer deemed it necessary for any company manufacturing electronics to have a policy on the sourcing of conflict minerals.

Such a policy would articulate the company's commitment to conflict free sourcing of 3TG minerals and its commitment to continue ensuring due diligence on the issue. The policy should also state that it intends to continue sourcing from the DRC region in order to avoid an embargo, which would hurt local workers even more.

Procter and Gamble made all of the above commitments.

To avoid a worst rating on conflict minerals, Ethical Consumer also expected companies to demonstrate their commitment by supporting conflict-free initiatives through membership of a multi-stakeholder initiative supporting the conflict-free minerals trade and / or financially supporting in-region mining initiatives. The company stated, "we have engaged with other companies through trade associations and industry initiatives, such as the Responsible Business Alliance-Global e-Sustainability Initiative’s (“RBA-GeSI”) Responsible Minerals Initiative (“RMI”), to improve transparency with respect to smelters and other upstream participants in the Conflict Minerals supply chain." However, the company did not state whether it continued to do this, and was not listed as a member to the Responsible Minerals Initiative, nor other initiatives considered adequate by Ethical Consumer.

Therefore, P&G received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for conflict minerals and lost a whole mark under Human Rights and Habitats and Resources.

Reference:

SD form 2020 (24 May 2021)

Forest 500, ‘the world’s first rainforest rating agency’, is a project of the Global Canopy Programme. In 2019, it published its fifth annual ranking. It ranks 350 of the biggest companies in forest-risk supply chains and the 150 biggest investors in these companies.

Tropical rainforests cover 7% of the earth, but contain 50% of global biodiversity. Their ecosystems regulate global water systems and the climate, and they directly support the livelihoods of over a billion people. The social and economic benefits of these services are estimated to be in the trillions.

Over two thirds of tropical deforestation is driven by the production of a handful of commodities including; palm oil, soya, timber, paper and pulp, beef, and leather. These commodities are in products we use every day and are present in more than 50% of the packaged products in our
supermarkets.

Companies and financial institutions had been assessed and ranked in respect to their policies addressing potential deforestation embedded in forest-risk commodity supply chains. The 2018 report stated that "the Forest 500 methodology was updated in 2018 to better distinguish between companies who have set commitments, and those that have taken the next step towards implementation. This new methodology has meant that many companies have received lower scores this year." A document on the 2019 methodology stated that had been updated again to better align with the guidance of the Accountability Framework, a set of norms and guidance on ethical supply chains developed by a coalition of civil society partners. Three new indicators were added and two indicators were updated.

The Forest 500 ranking and analysis will be repeated annually until 2020, to help inform, enable and track progress towards deforestation free supply chains.

Each company was rated from 0-5, across five categories:

Procter & Gamble was one of the 350 companies rated in the 2019 report.

It received an overall score of 3. Its scores in each category were as follows:
Overall Approach 2 out of 5

Commodity Score (palm, paper & pulp) 3 out of 5

Commitment Strength 4 out of 5

Reporting and implementation 3 out of 5

Social Considerations 3 out of 5

The company had signed up to the following collective commitments:

New York Declaration on Forests signatory
Consumer Goods Forum member

As it had scored under 4 overall, it lost half a mark under Habitats and Resources.

Reference:

Forest 500 - 2019 ranking (2019)

In May 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed P&G's website for the company's policy on timber sourcing.

Ethical Consumer's timber sourcing ranking required companies scoring a 'best' to cover six of the below issues:
1. having a timber sourcing policy that covers all timber and timber-derived products
2. the exclusion of illegal timber or that sourced from unknown sources and...
3. ...a discussion on how a company ensures/ implements this
4. clear targets for sourcing timber from sustainably managed sources
5. a discussion of a good minimum standard
6. preference given to certified sources
7. a discussion about tropical hardwoods (THW) and the percentage of THW sourced that are FSC certified
8. involvement with a multi-stakeholder initiative or bridging programme such as the World Wildlife Fund- Global Forest Trade Network
9. use of reclaimed or recycled wood/ paper
10. a high total percentage (50%+) of FSC certified timber sourced by the company.

The company's FORESTRY PRACTICES REPORT | MARCH 2021 stated, "a critical component of our efforts has been to require that 100% of the wood pulp we source is certified by a leading third-party certification system ", and listed the % certified under different programs, including FSC CoC, SFI, PEFC andill FSC CW. 70% was from an FSC program.
"P&G will not use illegally sourced fiber or conflict timber in our products. We will document that fiber is legally harvested and that other legal requirements are met."
It was considered to meet parts 1-3, 5-6 and 10.

The company's Citizenship Report 2020 was downloaded, which stated that:
"P&G is making progress on our commitment to nearly double our use of FSC-certified fiber in our tissue and paper towel products to 75% by 2025. Over the past five years, P&G has sourced, on average, 35% of our wood fiber from FSC Chain of Custody (COC). In the first year of this commitment, P&G increased FSC COC to more then 50% of our wood fiber. For tissue and towel products, we’ve achieved 49% FSC COC certification this year."
It also stated that 80% of paper packaging, from 98 % of its global spend, was self-reported by suppliers to be recycled.
It was considered to meet part 4 and 9.

Procter and Gamble received Ethical Consumer's best rating for its timber policy due to the fact it met six or more of the above criteria.

Reference:

2020 Citizenship Report (30 April 2021)

On 30/04/2021 Ethical Consumer searched for information on Procter & Gamble Company ’s use of palm ingredients. The mass production of palm oil has relied on the destruction of rainforests, which has wide ranging impacts including contributing to climate change, as well as loss of biodiversity and human rights.

To get a Best rating in this category, a large company (>£100m annual turnover) needs to have all palm oil and derivatives certified, to publish a list of all its mills (with no problem ones appearing), for at least 50% of total ingredients to be Segregated or Identity Preserved, and for it to publish an annually updated grievence list.

The company stated in its 2020 Citizenship Report:
"In FY19/20, we have made progress against several key milestones: Increasing the overall % RSPO-certified palm used in P&G brands to 61%."
"We achieved our 2020 goal of 100% Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified for all palm oil and palm oil derivatives. We’re on track to deliver 100% RSPO for palm kernel oil and palm kernel oil derivatives used in our brands by the end of 2021, 12 months ahead of our previous commitment."

Not all the company's palm ingredients including derivatives were certified RSPO as yet.

The company does publish a list of all its mills and producer groups/parent companies (refiners), with 98% traceability of palm purchases, but the following were on the chainreactionresearch.com list of refiners without effective NDPE implementation:
Darmex Agro, Incasi Raya, PTPN.

It stated that it had "Monitoring and Grievance Reporting across P&G Palm Supply Chain. This data will be part of our ongoing grievance monitoring process. We plan to publish reports every four months on www.pg.com, with the first report planned for January 2021." This document was found.

Overall, as not all palm ingredients were yet certified, Procter & Gamble Company received a Worst Ethical Consumer ranking for palm oil sourcing and lost a whole mark in the Palm Oil category.

Reference:

2020 Citizenship Report (30 April 2021)

In May 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed an article on the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre website titled 'Liberia: Panel finds palm oil giant violated land and cultural rights of local communities' and dated 25 Feb 2021.
It stated, "The High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA), an agribusiness industry sustainability body, has confirmed longstanding allegations that Golden Veroleum Liberia, the Liberian investee of palm oil giant Golden Agri-Resources, committed widespread deforestation over a thousand hectares of forest, including endangered species habitat and important wetlands. In a comprehensive report published this month, the company was also found to have violated the land and cultural rights of local communities, including the right to free prior and informed consent and social requirements on basic needs and grievance and remedy."
"Jeff Conant from Friends of the Earth US adds that “GAR does business with a long list of consumer brands, including Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Nestle, General Mills, Mondelez and others; and receives investment from, among others, BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street. Each of these entities holds a share of responsibility and can no longer turn a blind eye to a decade of destruction by GAR’s project in Liberia.”
Procter & Gamble lost half a mark under Palm Oil for its link with these abuses.

Reference:

Liberia: Panel finds palm oil giant violated land and cultural rights (25 February 2021)

In May 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed a story on the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre website titled 'Indonesia: Palm oil & mining companies embroiled in land disputes with rural communities allegedly taking advantage of COVID-19 outbreak' and dated 15 April 2020.
This stated that "Two people have died in a series of land disputes between major companies and rural communities in Indonesia."
"On March 21, security personnel from the palm oil firm PT Artha Prigel clashed with farmers in Lahat district, in South Sumatra province. Two farmers were killed in the fighting, the latest flare-up in a conflict that goes back nearly three decades. Locals accuse the company — a subsidiary of the Sawit Mas Group, which supplies oleochemicals to Procter & Gamble — of stealing their land..."
There was a response from P&G which stated: "Since receiving your message, we quickly explored our supply chain to understand our connection, if any. The news reports you shared cited Sawit Mas Group as a supplier of oleochemicals to P&G. However, this relationship ended years ago. We did learn that PT Arta Prigel, a subsidiary of PT Bukit Barisan Indah Prima (BBIP) is a direct supplier to Wilmar. Wilmar provides mass-balanced palm oil to us and many other companies in the consumer products industry. We immediately reached out to Wilmar to reaffirm that these actions within any part of our supply chain will not be tolerated and to learn how they are handling this situation."
"We expect Wilmar to work with a credible and independent third party to investigate this incident further and take meaningful actions for both the families affected and the long-term land dispute involved."
"We will stay closely connected with Wilmar on this important issue."
The company lost half a mark under Palm Oil for the abuse in its supply chain.

Reference:

Indonesia: Palm oil & mining companies embroiled in land disputes (15 April 2020)