Procter & Gamble last week announced its efforts to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, pointing to public awareness efforts and scientific research to lead the way. But how much of a difference could this commitment actually make in the global expansion of the gigantic company? Two professors from the University of Cincinnati applaud the company’s efforts to recognize the severe effects of climate trade. But they are skeptical of the details.
Amy Townsend, associate professor of environmental science at the University of Cincinnati, said so many of P&G products are made of paper – toilet paper, Pampers, paper towels – it’s hard to imagine how it will find it. alternatives.
âOne thing, obviously, that P&G has been criticized for is deforestationâ¦ So to make up the difference for the felling of old trees, you have to replant a forest that you can secure in some way. another that it will never be shot or burned. , “she said.” And it’s extremely difficult because, how do you do that? “
P&G said in a press release that it will make changes across the company, from its supply chain to manufacturing to raw materials.
In his report, he said he had already cut absolute emissions by more than half over the past 10 years through energy efficiency efforts and renewable electricity. In an effort to make a difference this decade, P&G says that by 2030, it hopes to reduce emissions in its operations by an additional 50% and reduce greenhouse gases generated by its supply chain by 40%.
Corn the company said in the press release He’s partly hoping science will meet its needs before the deadline, acknowledging that some of the technologies they rely on don’t even exist yet.
âThey have something here about exploring for ingredients made from captured CO2 and it’s a technology that is virtually non-existent,â Townsend said. “It’s something that would take a lot of energy, which at the moment comes mostly from fossil fuels. So I would say reducing and making reusable materials would be a better way to go.”
Associate Professor Bob Hyland agrees the announcement should be met with some skepticism, saying the first red flag for him is to see the company submitting its plans to the Science Based Targets initiative, which is funded by conflicting organizations. interests, such as The Rockefeller Foundation.
âThe other backers of SBTI are large automotive companies, the world’s largest steelmaker, the UPS Foundation. So there are inherent conflicts of interest, I think, in using this group as a front for their scientific approach to come up with what they ‘call net zero.’
Hyland isn’t an expert in net zero science, but says the process generally works like this:
The problem with this process is that, while well intentioned, it takes time to achieve and can be difficult to know exactly what these offsets are, he says.
A more effective strategy, he says, would be for P&G to commit to working with non-partial scientists to find ways to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions. And it’s not too late for them to change course and do it.
âIf I was driving a car towards a brick wall at high speed, I don’t think it would occur to me that it’s too late to brake,â he said. âI would do everything possible to prevent my vehicle from hitting the brick wall. So I don’t think it’s too late. I think it’s tragic that the corporate culture has waited so long to try to become leaders, but I don’t. think it’s too late. “
Townsend suggests a further step, namely that the company has an obligation to exert its massive influence to implement environmental policies on a global scale.
“They have to use their political power. They have lobbyists who have a lot of influence over our government and world governments,” she said. “It’s a company that operates in many other countries. They have factories in other countries. So I think they should pressure the government to enact regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse.”
To read P & G’s full plans for greenhouse gas emissions, visit their website.