Our blueprint for generations to come
Even in the midst of massive change and disruption, building a sustainable world that improves quality of life, respects human rights and protects the environment is possible. P&G Responsible Beauty, a systems-thinking approach to decision making, provides a blueprint to navigate today’s challenges and tomorrow’s growth.
P&G Responsible Beauty is not a separate thing we do on the side — it’s how we do business every day around the world.
Our Approach & Guiding Principles
Terms like natural, organic, clean, and sustainable are broadly used in beauty. But many of these terms lack clear definitions or agreed upon standards. Perhaps more importantly, a focus in one area can lead to a trade-off or unintended consequence in another. Natural ingredients are not necessarily safe or sustainable. Contradictory messages about synthetic and natural materials can make you worry about allergic reactions or be surprised that some nature-identical materials are more sustainable than alternatives sourced from natural resources.
At P&G Beauty, we believe you shouldn’t have to make these types of trade-offs. And so we set out to design a new standard to help ensure that positive benefits in one area wouldn’t come with unintended consequences elsewhere.
A Systems-Thinking Approach
To make meaningful progress we need a total systems approach and avoid “problem switching” - solving one issue but creating another down the road.
For beauty, this means going beyond environmental practices to address the interdependence of all aspects of product development and corporate behavior — all activities that matter to you when choosing a beauty product and the world in which we live.
P&G Responsible Beauty is our commitment to be a positive force for beauty in the world. It is a systems-thinking approach to beauty that recognizes the connections and interdependence of five essential principles — Quality & Performance, Safety, Sustainability, Transparency and Equality & Inclusion.
To develop solutions that generate further solutions, we need to consider the world as interacting systems, rather than seeing things as a static snapshot or isolated issue.
Five interconnected guiding principles
P&G Responsible Beauty ensures that every product delivers best-in-class performance — one of our historical strengths, and that every product has been designed, formulated, and produced with the health and safety of you, your community, and the world in mind. P&G Responsible Beauty works to make our world better by promoting conversations and influencing attitudes to drive positive change within society and for the environment.
Quality and performance
It all starts with understanding the diverse beauty needs and desires of women and men all over the world. Our products deliver outstanding and noticeable benefits. We use high-quality ingredients from both science and nature, and our product testing goes far beyond industry standards.
For over 181 years, safety has been at the heart of what P&G does. Before considering an ingredient or marketing a product, we apply the highest scientific safety standards, often exceeding those of leading independent and regulatory authorities, to ensure every ingredient’s safety and that all products are safe and recognized as safe by scientists, NGOs, and consumers.
We use our brands and our scale as a positive force for beauty in the world to benefit people and the planet. We focus on the greatest opportunities for environmental, social and economic impact. We hold our business partners to the same high standards we have set for ourselves: to use resources responsibly, to preserve the environment, act with social responsibility, respect human rights, and to reduce environmental footprint.
It’s simple. Our goal is to answer your questions about what’s in the products by providing product ingredient information that is clear, reliable, and accessible. In other words, if you don’t find what you’re looking for here or on P&G brand sites, please let us know so that we can live up to our promise.
Equality and inclusion
We are elevating diversity & inclusion beyond female representation to drive Equality & Inclusion for all people of different races, ethnicities, cultures, spirituality, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities and backgrounds, within our teams, through our products, in our communication, and across our supply chain.
P&G’s Ambition 2030 Goals are the foundational goals of P&G Beauty. For our P&G Responsible Beauty platform we have set additional broad-reaching goals. These goals represent our vision to be a positive force for beauty in the world. We have set these goals to help get us closer to achieving that vision, but we don’t have all the answers. Together with our partners, we will evolve and update our goals as we continue to learn.
Our Brands in Action
Pantene Japan: No more hair bias
In just two years, Pantene Japan’s #HairWeGo program produced a significant cultural shift away from the long-standing hair biases experienced by Japanese young women. #HairWeGo put the spotlight on compulsory “shūkatsu” or “job-hunting” hair: straight, black and pulled back into a very precise, side-parted, low ponytail. Pantene Japan collaborated with 139 of the country’s top corporations to pledge support for current and future employees who chose to forgo shūkatsu hair in favor of their own personal style. Pantene Japan also tackled hair-related discrimination in school. In the summer of 2019, a petition inspired by the Pantene Japan #HairWeGo campaign led the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education to change school policy permanently.
Olay: A refillable future
The first mass skincare brand to offer refills, Olay launched recyclable refill pods for its best-selling Regenerist moisturizer in the U.S. and the U.K., selling the pods in containers made of 100 percent recycled paper, without any outer carton. A limited-edition pink version, released in October 2019 to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, sold out in less than a month. If embraced by consumers, the pod program could reduce the use of more than a million pounds of plastic.
Herbal Essences: Authentic, authenticated ingredients
Herbal Essences is the first global hair care brand to partner with the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG), Kew, a world leading authority on plant science. RBG Kew scientists have rigorously evaluated the key botanical ingredients in the Herbal Essences bio:renew range to confirm their identity and quality. RBG Kew’s unparalleled knowledge of plants and their powers, coupled with the diversity of its botanical collections, makes it the perfect partner for Herbal Essences to identify the next generation of natural ingredients that are safe, effective and sustainably sourced.
Secret and Old Spice: Paper power
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Old Spice and Secret were the first leading brands to introduce all-paper, plastic-free deodorant packaging. The paper tube package, made of 90 percent recycled paper, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, features a “push up” design that replaces canisters and provides a sustainable alternative to primarily plastic multi-material packaging. Converting just 10 percent of current deodorant packaging to recycled paper or another recyclable material could eliminate up to 1.5 million pounds of plastic waste annually.
Waterl<ss: Waterfree beauty
Four billion people currently experience water scarcity for at least one month of each year, and, by 2025, the UN predicts that two-thirds of the world’s population will face water shortages. In January 2020, P&G Beauty launched Waterl<ss in North America, a line of shampoos and conditioners that require zero water to use. The brand and technology were originally developed and launched in Cape Town, South Africa, during a water crisis when many women, unable to properly cleanse and condition their hair, were considering cutting it off.
Long-term collaboration and partnerships are instrumental to being future-fit and taking responsible growth to the next level. We are proud to partner and collaborate with many of the world’s top experts in diverse fields, from biodiversity to responsible sourcing, packaging sustainability and skin safety as part of our P&G Responsible Beauty Advisory Council (RBAC).
"Rainforest Alliance is all about changing the way the world produces, sources and consumes, and we recognize strong partnerships are key to realizing this change. Through the RBAC, P&G Beauty is leveraging the power of partnerships to brainstorm innovative solutions and explore opportunities in sustainability."
—Samantha Morrissey, Sector Lead, Forest Products
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
"Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew partnership with P&G has been scientifically very productive, bringing together the energy of scientists from different disciplines with a common aim of unlocking the chemistry of plants to provide effective beauty products—with added importance that these plants must be sustainability supplied and help support the lives of the communities that care for them."
—Monique Simmonds, PhD, Deputy Director of Science
World Wildlife Fund
"World Wildlife Fund has had a longstanding, wide-ranging partnership with P&G, valuing innovation, trust, and transparency. The RBAC brings together diverse thought leadership to build a responsible global supply chain. When the challenges to protect our planet are so complex, solutions are also inherently complex. The RBAC offers a proactive approach to knowledge seeking and knowledge sharing."
—Mary Ta, Program Officer, Sustainability R&D
Skin Health Alliance
“Consumers’ well-being and the environmental impact of the products they use lie at the very core of the Skin Health Alliance’s ethos. Our relationship with P&G Beauty stretches back over a decade, during which time P&G has consistently proven their rigorous health and environmental standards are aligned with our own.”
—Dr. Thivi Maruthappu, SHA Dermatologist
Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials
“The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials is proud to be a technical partner of P&G, providing advice and guidance related to the sourcing of materials. The RBAC, a diverse partnership of organizations, brings together an invaluable knowledge base that will enable decisions to be made based on the whole spectrum of sustainability aspects.”
—Nicola Noponen, Global Technical Advisor
As part of P&G Responsible Beauty we are committed to help inspire others, advance progress, and speed positive change by making technologies, programs and processes publicly available.
The first such contribution is the sharing of a comprehensive guide for assessing the safe use of botanicals in beauty products, with historical case examples, practical tools and background knowledge. Incorporating learnings from over a decade of published research including more than 40 published manuscripts in respected journals and more than 50 abstracts, posters and presentations submitted to professional scientific congresses and meetings, these research outcomes and optimized techniques provide a robust safety approach to assess botanical ingredients and to ensure their safe use.