cutting carbon output and reduc-
ing packaging is not enough.”
That’s why Unilever has set the
seemingly outrageous goal of
doubling turnover as it reduces
the amount of resources it uses.
“We are audacious, but no one
else is following our lead,” he
And that’s where industry comes
into the equation. Polman acknowledged that anytime companies discuss working together,
According to Polman, 20% of climate change is due to illegal
deforestation. He urged the industry to join Unilever in purchasing raw materials such as sustainable palm oil and called for the
industry to be sustainably sourced by 2020—for its own good.
“Do we want to be policy makers or policy takers?” he asked.
All of these initiatives, of course, require leadership. Unilever
executives are in touch with policy makers, environmentalists
and others on a daily basis. In fact, the company is working with
the United Nations for sustainable, equitable growth on a global
level. In closing, Polman urged the audience to move quickly to
build a better outcome for the next generation.
“We can’t tell our children that we made things worse,” he
said.“We have to stop stealing from future generations. What we
hand over to them has to be better.”
Kao chairman Motoki Ozaki
Innovation Is the Answer
Polman’s sobering message was met with a bit of optimism from
Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald, who told the audience
that they must embrace the challenges ahead and view them as
opportunities. He noted that if the Chinese, Indian and other
emerging market consumers were to increase their household
product expenditures to the level of Brazilians ($43 a year), global
category sales would soar to $162 billion. How can the industry
reach this lofty level? Through empathy-driven innovation that’s
inspired by core human needs, according to McDonald.
“Understanding the consumer and understanding her ten-
sion creates deep empathy that leads to insights to big ideas that
can grow an industry,” he told the audience. “You have to know
the consumer’s culture and his language.”
For example, P&G researchers lived with Filipinos to discov-
er that it normally takes three buckets of water to rinse laundry
detergent residue completely from clothes. That insight led to
the creation of Downy Single Rinse, which has saved 35 billion
liters of water.
Another consumer insight, this one in the US, found that
only 68% of consumers were satis-
fied with the laundry process. That
revelation led P&G researchers
to develop Tide Pods that, along
with similar PVA-based delivery
systems, has gone on to capture
more than 6% of the US laundry
category, according to experts.
Innovation and the Environment
Kao chairman Motoki Ozaki blended the concepts of the previous two keynotes with his presentation on Eco-Innovation. He
explained that two megatrends, the environment and an aging
population have tremendous impact on society and the industry
for decades to come.
Three key problems are shaping the environment mega-trend—global warming, water shortages and waste issues—
according to Ozaki and he detailed his company’s 2020 target goals
to tackle all three. He called life cycle analysis (LCA) critical to
good product development and explained how “Genba-ism” or
keeping close to the consumer, led Kao to create Attack Easy
which helps consumers wash clothing more easily.