Tuesday, 30 November 2010

P&G and Aga Rayburn Case Studies - driving Green Sales through Smart Eco-Design

P&G - Changing consumer behaviour through Eco-Design
At the CBI Climate Change Summit in November Irwin Lee, Vice President, Proctor and Gamble (P&G), illustrated how good design was driving behavioural change amongst consumers in fast moving consumer goods in his business. 
Mr Lee outlined the scale and scope of P&G operations as the largest consumer group in the world selling 50 leading brands including Ariel, Fairy, Pampers, Flash, IAMS pet food, Duracell, Lenor.  They had 130 manufacturing facilities worldwide making $23bn turnover and selling their brands in 180 countries.  
P&G decided to prioritise energy consumption and water use focussing on Ariel in the first instance.  They found the vast majority of consumers were more demanding and more savvy, although a sizeable segment also wanted to behave sustainably by lowering their carbon footprint. 
They realised innovation was needed to develop sustainable products meeting consumer needs with no compromise on quality.  Lifecycle Assessments showed the energy used to heat water during the wash cycle created the biggest CO2 impact. Their challenge was to convince customers to wash at lower temperatures by providing them with a ‘no compromise solution’.
The first breakthrough was with Ariel ‘Excel Gel’ working at 15 degrees centigrade. Consumers were saving money through energy savings.  “Cold is the new hot,” said Irwin Lee. “Excel Gel now has 15% of the laundry market.”
This came after earlier progress following the Ariel ‘Turn to 30’ campaign launched in 2006 when only 2% of consumers washed at this temperature.   After just four years 25% of households were washing at 30 degrees, with Irwin Lee claiming that the power saved as a result was equivalent to the energy needs of a country the size of Ireland. P&G aimed to have 70% of the population doing cold water washing by 2020, having formed a global partnership with WWF and Energy Savings Trust.
With their Pampers brand P&G aimed at reducing bulk, pulp use and packaging as priorities.  Design innovation had resulted in the creation of the “driest and thinnest nappy to-date,” said Irwin Lee “through the development of ‘Dry Max’ providing slimmer nappy cores.  Innovation is the foundation but education remains key.  If we can inform consumers we can bring them with us.”
Future Friendly represented an approach helping to improve communication with consumers as a partnership between, “P&G brands and leading sustainability experts, where each P&G brand in the partnership is being designed to use at least 15% less energy, water or packaging – whether it's in the way they're manufactured or used.”
Pampers had also partnered with UNICEF over the past five years through its ‘1 Pack = 1 Life-Saving Vaccine’ campaign.  This had resulted in Pampers donating 200 million tetanus vaccines protecting women and their babies around the world from Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus.  Mr. Lee announced that P&G was intending to reach the remaining 170m women and babies at risk by 2012.
Working in partnership with organisations like the Red Cross and Save the Children, P&G delivered PUR water packets providing clean water for relief in disaster areas - like Haiti, Chile and Pakistan. “Thanks to the work of one of our brilliant scientists in household research in Newcastle, we’ve provided more than 2 billion litres of clean drinking water,” said Mr Lee.  
Last month at the Clinton Global Initiative P&G had declared their intent to “save a life an hour by 2020” which meant increasing their distribution to an extra 2 billion litres per year.
To realize this "save a life every hour" target by 2020, the company had committed to build a new manufacturing facility for its PUR water packets. Apparently, one small PUR packet quickly turns 10 litres of dirty, potentially deadly water into clean, drinkable water.
As a result of P&G’s Smart Eco-Design plan and other initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable behaviour across their brands P&G’s results from 2002 – 2010 were:
CO2 reductions           -53%
Energy reductions       -50%
Waste reductions        -55%
Disposed waste           -55%
Their new 10 year goals for 2020 were to have 100% renewable energy plants and 100% renewable materials for packaging their products together with 0% consumer or manufacturing waste.

Aga Rayburn - Smart Design through the Eco-Connect System
Closer to home Aga Rayburn has recently developed a unique sustainable solution targeting their customers’ needs.  I visited the Aga shop in Kidderminster a couple of weeks back to see their new Home Energy Management Centre.  This Centre has a full size display showing customers how various components, such as a boiler stove, Central heating range cooker and solar panel, can be configured together to maximise the use of renewable energy.

To help them do this the Aga Rayburn research team in Telford have created the Eco-Connect system.  This clever, neatly-sized device acts as  a heat exchanger enabling the water cylinder in any home to be connected to a different energy sources, such as a wood burning stove, a wood burning, solid fuel or oil fired Rayburn cooker (and central heating system) and other sustainable energy sources, such as solar thermal (hot water) panels. 
Aga wood burning stoves have energy efficiency ratings of over 81% and the Rayburn 680 KCD, for example, is an oil fired boiler and central heating system with 92% efficiency for its A-rated condensing technology.
The innovative Eco-Connect Panel has the ability to interconnect different appliances ensuring that energy is intelligently drawn from the greenest source at all times.  The Eco-Connect panel senses the temperature of the water in the system and whether it needs ‘topping up’ always opting for the most sustainable source whether that might be the stove, Rayburn or other source. 
Aga Rangemaster’s Nigel Morrison told me, “No other manufacturer is doing this. We are the first to market with this sort of product and within the first few months we have seen signs of early enthusiasm for this technology and it is selling well across the country.   It has already won an Award in the Innovative Renewables Category at the Ricoh Arena Oil & Renewables Exhibition earlier this year.  It has just been voted ‘Innovative Product of the Year’ at the OFTEC Awards for Excellence 2010 on 29th October with the Rayburn 680 KCD a runner up in the same category.
Smart eco-design innovation
Aga Rayburn - Eco-Connect Panel
“With systems of this sort vitally dependent on technical details one of the key technological challenges has been in enabling connections to be made between Stoves as vented systems and cookers, such as the Rayburn, as sealed systems, something that had not been possible prior to this. 

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