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CPG giant’s strategy for sustainable growth – waste impact per consumer use reduced by around 32% since 2010

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Client

One of the world’s largest FMCG conglomerate that makes more than 400 brands, consumed by 2.5 billion people each day in more than 190 countries. The company strives to make products that people love – and to make a positive impact in the lives of the people who buy them. This led to the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan in 2010 with the intent of driving long-term growth while reducing environmental footprint and increasing positive social impact.

Challenges

At the heart of Sustainable Living Plan was the belief that growth and sustainability must go hand in hand. This called for an innovative approach across the whole value chain and to help the company bring about this transformational change, Mindtree consultants in collaboration with other vendor partners, conceived a meaningful way to measure the sustainability impact of the business across the whole lifecycle of products sold. These measurements enabled the company to see where improvements were needed and key areas where changes were to be made:

  • A need to identify opportunities to minimise the potential environmental impacts of new innovations and ensure that they are at the forefront of environmental sustainability
  • Harnessing the latest scientific evidences to create a tool to assess current, and predict the future impact of products, and thereby help product teams make right innovations and sustainable choices

Solution

There was a need for transformational change focusing on addressing big issues and anticipating the potential future impacts of today’s decisions. This steered the way for Mindtree to build an innovative and path breaking solution called ‘EcoDesign’ to embed sustainability in product design. This was an intuitive online tool which computes and analyses environment footprint (greenhouse gases, waste, and water) and social impact (nutrition, health & hygiene, and sustainable sourcing) of new product innovations in real-time, along with ways of reducing these impacts.

The scenario modelling capabilities allowed R&D scientists to enhance packaging designs and formulate ingredients that were more sustainable and innovative, thus influencing the whole life cycle of products. The application not only facilitated optimizing packaging, formulation, and consumer-use, but also enabled senior leaders in their decision-making during sustainability innovation review. The outcome was a surge in product designs and innovations that were more sustainable than the products currently sold in the market, helping drive the company’s strategy for a sustainable business that drives superior performance.

Benefits

EcoDesign has contributed to waste reduction per consumer use (a key indicator for sustainable environment) of the company’s product portfolio by 32% since 2010. Using EcoDesign, the company has managed to integrate sustainability into product innovation through sustainable design insights which has resulted in the launch of many new sustainable products:

  • ‘Ecorefill’ design for the company’s home-care brand helped avoid 55% of the greenhouse gas and ~80% waste that comes with buying a full spray bottle
  • Re-formulating toothpastes reduced 6-7% greenhouse gases emissions. Optimising the weight of the carton box used to package the toothpaste tube, resulting in a 15% decrease in packaging waste. The toothpaste range proved very popular in France where it was voted Product of the Year in 2019
  • Innovation for a dishwashing liquid brand to tackle the problem around single-use plastic through the use of reusable pack saving 17.6 grams of plastic every time a consumer buys a product

Mindtree has evolved from being a technology enabler to building partnerships focusing on pioneering solutions and expertise in sustainability. This relationship, built on clarity, confidence and constant dialogue enables translating ambitious commitments to action and together change the way the world does business.

CPG

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