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P&G launches second ‘Friendly’ phase of sustainability platform

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI —With a greater number of consumers, businesses and governments embracing “green” initiatives, and with the sustainable packaging sector growing faster than the overall packaging industry and poised to nearly double in revenues in the coming years, it is no surprise that consumer packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble is in many ways leading the charge to help mainstream consumers easily save energy and reduce waste.

The first phase of P&G’s Future Friendly platform, which kicked off with a full media platform in the spring, communicated to consumers how washing in cold water with a detergent formulated for that application—like Tide Coldwater—can conserve energy and help consumers reduce their utility bills. Now, phase two of the platform is taking aim at powder detergent carton sizes, targeting a reduction in packaging materials, as well as truck and fuel usage, in the first half of 2011.

“Future Friendly has already proven itself to be a great platform—for not only P&G but for our customers—to offer consumers an opportunity for them to do their part with regards to the environment without having to sacrifice price or quality,” said Eric Forsyth of P&G customer business development during an online media briefing on Sept. 2. “As excited as we are about what we’ve done in the past, we are equally as excited about where we are going in the future with Future Friendly.”

For phase two of Future Friendly, P&G is tackling its powder cartons and will be compacting the cartons by 33%, effective February 2011. By compacting the cartons, and enhancing the formulas of both Tide and Gain, P&G estimated the results will mean up to a 28% reduction in corrugate (68 million sq. ft. of cardboard); about 6% (5,900) fewer trucks on the road; and a 5% to 8% reduction in fuel use (890,000 fewer gallons of diesel fuel).

Underscoring the significance of sustainability is data released earlier this year by market research and consulting firm Pike Research, which projected that eco-friendly packaging will nearly double in revenue by 2014 to $170 billion.

An interesting side note is that just days after P&G’s media briefing, the first five fully electric delivery trucks

for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division hit the streets of New York. In total, 21 trucks will be deployed this year, with another 150 trucks to roll out in 2011.

The powder detergent business is $1.7 billion strong and represents about 20% of the entire $8 billion laundry category. With this next phase of Future Friendly, P&G expected to drive powder growth between 2.5% and 4%, which will translate into an increase in top-line sales of between $43 million and $68 million.

This initiative will take place in one wave across the United States and Canada. Beginning in April 2011, consumers will see Future Friendly stickers across some of the powder cartons, and retailers will be able to leverage such in-store tools as shelf-talkers with the Future Friendly messaging.

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Giant Eagle awarded for green efforts

BY Allison Cerra

PITTSBURGH Giant Eagle has received four awards from the Environmental Protection Agency for its eco-friendly practices and sustainability efforts, the supermarket retailer said.

Giant Eagle was the recipient of the EPA Montreal Protocol award, the GreenChill environmental award, the GreenChill building certification and the EPA Smartway transport partnership perfect performance score.

“Our multiple partnerships with the EPA are a significant piece of our overall sustainability strategy, which also includes our energy management efforts and recycling initiatives,” said Shelly Sponholz, Giant Eagle SVP real estate and development. “We truly believe that our environmental commitment is a vital part to the success of both our communities and our business, as so many of the sustainable projects we undertake produce tangible benefits to each.”

Giant Eagle operates stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and Maryland.

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Retailers urge Congress to reject Chinese currency legislation

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. As members of Congress move to try and force China to revalue its currency, the renminbi yuan, retailers are weighing in on the issue.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represents more than 200 retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, asked lawmakers Friday to reject legislation under consideration Friday morning by the House Ways and Means Committee that would pressure China on its currency by imposing tariffs on products imported from there.

 

Alarge share of consumer products sold in the United States are made in China, and in many cases are no longer made in the United States. Thus, placing tariffs on goods imported from China could force retailers to pass the costs onto consumers.

 

 

“Provoking tension with our trading partners doesn’t come without costs, and we should choose our battles carefully, especially given the great amount of uncertainty in markets at this time,” RILA VP international trade Stephanie Lester said. “It makes little sense to enact harmful policies that will spark a bilateral conflict over currency with one of our largest trading partners and fastest-growing markets for American exports, given almost stagnant economic growth.”

 

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