Sustainability Frequently Asked Questions

View our most frequently asked questions related to P&G Professional and our commitment to sustainability.

    How does Procter & Gamble approach sustainability?

    Since we were founded more than 180 years ago, P&G has been committed to improving consumers’ lives, and we know this also means caring for the world in which we live. We think of this as being a force for good, and a force for growth.

    We are committed to making a positive impact, but we cannot do it alone. In April 2018, we announced “Ambition 2030", our 2030 environmental sustainability goals that embody our commitment to enabling and inspiring a positive impact in the world while creating value for consumers, partners and the Company.

    We will focus on our brands, supply chain, society and our employees.

    What is P&G's strategy for making a positive impact on the environment?


    • 100% of our leadership brands will enable and inspire responsible consumption.
    • 100% of our packaging will be recyclable or reusable.
    • We will build even greater trust through transparency, ingredient innovation and sharing our safety science.
    • We will reduce our footprint and strive for circular solutions.
    • We will protect and enhance the forests we depend upon.
    • We will improve the livelihood of palm smallholders by increasing yields from existing lands.
    • We will find solutions so no P&G packaging will find its way to the ocean.
    • We will protect water for people and nature in priority basins.
    • We will advance recycling solutions for Absorbent Hygiene Products.
    • We will integrate social and environmental sustainability as a key strategy in our business plans.
    • We will educate employees across all levels.
    • We will reward progress and integrate recognition in the individual’s performance assessment.

    We have the opportunity to partner with the five billion people we serve to make a positive difference for the environment. We also want to collaborate with industry, governments, civil society groups, and academics because together, we can make an even greater impact.

    For more detailed information check out our Interactive version of Ambition 2030.

    What has P&G done over the years with regard to sustainability?

    Our Environmental Roots

    Created the 1st environmental safety publication measuring surfactants in rivers  
    The P&G Environmental Water Quality Laboratory was established 
    Published 10th environmental safety paper supporting biodegradability test methods
    The P&G Corporate Environmental Safety Department was formed 
    Formed European environmental safety organization 
    Co-founded Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry
    Helped define new field of Life Cycle Assessment
    Implemented Supplier Environmental Sustainability Scorecard
    Established visionary Sustainability goals and embedded cross-functional teams
    Announces new goal to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020 – established two new partnerships to help achieve this – a biomass plant in GA that will produce enough steam energy for the production of NA Bounty and Charmin and a wind farm in TX that will produce enough electricity to manufacture US and Canada Fabric and Home Care brands.
    Introduced the world’s first shampoo bottle made from recycled beach plastic and a technology that has the potential to revolutionize the plastics recycling industry.
    Announced P&G’s Ambition 2030 Environmental Sustainability Goals 

    In 2010, we established our 2020 environmental goals. We’ve made great progress including reducing absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 16% since 2010, reducing water use in manufacturing facilities by 27% and achieving zero manufacturing waste to landfill for more than 80% of manufacturing sites. We will continue to drive progress against our 2020 goals and you can find the latest update here.

    We are committed to making a positive impact, but we cannot do it alone so in April 2018, we announced “Ambition 2030”, our 2030 environmental sustainability goals that embody our commitment to enabling and inspiring a positive impact in the world while creating value for consumers, partners and the Company.

    What is P&G Professional's Green Guarantee?

    P&G Professional's Green Guarantee signifies that we work to design sustainability into everything we do - our products, our packages, and our processes. All P&G Professional Green Guarantee products provide outstanding performance while meeting high standards for human and environmental safety. All products with the Green Guarantee meet applicable state and federal guidelines, including those of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    What is P&G Professional’s position on third party ecolabels?

    P&G Professional is not against 3rd party ecolabels. However, we are concerned that such labels may not be based on state-of-the-art risk science and lack, therefore, the scientific rigor and transparency we believe is necessary. As the largest consumer products manufacturer in the world, P&G has the capability to do world class science in world class facilities; we want to make sure 3rd party endorsers have similar capabilities to do scientific testing properly. Additionally, ecolabels based on "hazard" standards—as opposed to the risk science used by government agencies, universities, and most major corporations—make it more difficult to innovate new, beneficial products that are safe for consumers. We want to make sure that a 3rd party endorser's standards don't "backfire" and make it harder to create more sustainable products with new technology in the future. Finally, we are concerned about possible conflict of interest issues, as the business model for some ecolabels involves high registration fees.

    What is environmental risk science?

    The scientific approach used by industry, research universities, government, and medicine for assessing environmental impacts is called "risk science." It looks to understand how chemicals affect things by measuring both possible effects AND the amount of exposure. This is exactly the same approach used for medicines—some medicines are very powerful and must be used in low doses; others are less powerful and can be used safely in higher doses. Agencies like the Food and Drug Administration exist to ensure that the proper science is used to weigh benefits and risks, with usage instructions and precautions indicated.

    P&G believes in applying this science to develop and market beneficial technologies, while ensuring that we protect both people and the environment. While we respect the work of third party eco-labels, and we are aligned with them in the effort to drive sustainable cleaning products, we believe that the way to get there is by using state-of-the-art science. Many eco-labels do not use risk science, but a hazard approach. This simply involves lists of chemicals that they feel should not ever be used.

    This makes sense for really dangerous ingredients—but in most cases those have already been prohibited by state and federal agencies. The problem is that they apply hazard standards to a broader range of ingredients, even if there is scientifically obtained data that shows the chemicals cause no harm when used in appropriate ways and amounts.

    An analogy would be to ban aspirin because consuming an entire bottle could hurt you. There are big benefits to aspirin, and getting the dose—the exposure level—correct is critical. This is exactly what risk science does, which is why it is the approach used by governments, universities, and companies. It's particularly important when it comes to sustainability. For example, to create products that could have significant impacts on carbon dioxide emission and reduce energy use, researchers need more flexibility in designing and testing new formulas.

    Employing state-of-the-art risk science means more work, and to do that work we have hundreds of human and environmental safety researchers testing every product and package we make. We believe it is the right thing to do, because it lets us develop safe, new products for consumers, and through innovation, helps to reduce or eliminate environmental impacts.

    Are any buildings that use PGP cleaners LEED certified?

    Yes, we have had many properties score the green cleaning LEED innovation point using PGP cleaners. These include schools, hotels, and quick serve restaurants. PGP disinfecting cleaners and floor products meet the California VOC requirements specified in LEED standards and therefore can also qualify for the green cleaning innovation point. We are happy to work with customers who are seeking LEED certification of their properties by providing data on our cleaners and the LEED process

    How should we think about PGP disinfectants – are they green?

    Disinfectants are given an EPA registration number indicating they are effective at killing germs through a certification process that falls under FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act).

    The EPA does NOT allow green claims on FIFRA certified products today. No disinfectant can currently claim to be green.

    In the future, this may change. The EPA is undertaking a pilot to explore certifying "green disinfectants," products that kill germs but are formulated to be more sustainable. P&G's Comet Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner is participating in this pilot.

    As of this time, however, there are no government agency or 3rd party ecolabel standards for green disinfectants. In the absence of any regulation or standards, P&G relies on world class human and environmental risk assessment that includes a wide range of exposure based testing. We also look at bioaccumulation, sediment terrestrial toxicity, wastewater removal, inherent biodegradation and other broader environmental assessment endpoints. We then use this data to formulate disinfectants that are safe for humans and the environment.

    There are no green standards on laundry – is PGP laundry safe for the environment?

    Our commercial Tide is alkaline free, with a near neutral pH, and we have voluntarily eliminated phosphates in our laundry formulas. In addition, our Tide Professional 2x concentrate formula minimizes packaging waste and saves water, gas, and labor.

    With products in virtually every US home, P&G follows strict standards for both human and environmental safety. Our Product Safety & Regulatory Affairs (PS&RA) is responsible for ensuring that products and packages are designed to be safe for consumers and the environment, in compliance with the applicable laws and regulations everywhere they are sold.

    Within PS&RA, our Central Product Safety (CPS) organization has direct responsibility for ensuring our products are safe for consumers and the environment. Its primary role is to advance the science of understanding and evaluating the human and environmental safety of our products. An External Advisory Board consisting of several distinguished academic scientists, as well as a standing Sustainability External Advisory Panel, comprised of representatives from many environmental NGOs are part of the evaluation process.

    We are thought leaders in establishing safety standards in the industry and have taken an active role in science-based efforts to help establish broad laundry safety standards.

    Do you use Zinc in your new lineup of floor finishes?

    Yes. Zinc is unequalled in its ability to provide lasting shine and is used in most floor finishes. Its use helps to reduce the number of strippings and recoatings over the life of the floor. This can help reduced the frequency of application, burnishing, and stripping, which can in turn help reduce the use and disposal of unnecessary chemicals.

    We recognize, however, that some customers want to use zinc-free products. Therefore one of the seven new floor finish products, New Directions, is zinc free.

    You say your commercial laundry detergent doesn't have phosphates. Isn't it required by law for detergents to be phosphate-free?

    Retail detergents are not permitted to contain phosphates but in the commercial business, there is no overarching law forbidding the use of phosphates. P&G voluntarily reformulated its retail as well as commercial detergent back in the 1980s because the public wanted phosphate-free detergents. Other commercial detergent companies have not yet chosen to take this approach and market commercial laundry products containing phosphates.

    What about natural cleaning solutions?

    If we thought that the so-called natural cleaning ingredients were better, we would use them. However, soils are generally mixtures and mixed soils demand mixed active systems for best performance (Never mix your own chemicals as combinations can be hazardous). All so-called natural cleaning solutions also use chemicals—chemicals are the components of everything around us—we simply associate natural with certain things that have been touted as such; for example baking soda or lemon juice or vinegar. Even ingredients thought of as "natural" can be damaging when improperly used as a cleaner.

    P&G Professional products are carefully evaluated for their human, environmental and in-use safety prior to ever being marketed, with a program of very thorough, detailed and rigorous testing behind them. Appropriate directions for use are provided on the labeling, any critical hazards or safety information is provided on the labeling, and detailed safety information is available on the SDS.

    Does P&G Professional sell products not made by Procter & Gamble?

    We work with partner manufacturers to create supplemental products for specific product needs such as oven cleaners or de-limers. We do not manufacture these supplemental products ourselves, and they are not covered by Green Guarantee.

    Does Green Guarantee cover retail products as well as professional products?

    Yes, Green Guarantee covers all P&G manufactured products.