WVXU: UC experts discuss P&G's new green policies

Environmental studies professors talk to WVXU about climate change

WVXU talked to two University of Cincinnati professors in environmental studies about Procter & Gamble Co.'s new initiative designed to reduce the Fortune 500 company's carbon footprint.

P&G, one of the world's biggest consumer-goods companies, announced this month that it plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2040. The Cincinnati-based company is the latest global manufacturer to pledge to take steps to address climate change caused in part by human-generated greenhouse gases.

“We are fully committed to use P&G’s innovation and ingenuity to unlock new solutions to address climate change,” P&G President David S. Taylor said in a statement. “The task ahead of us is urgent, difficult and much bigger than any single company or country. P&G is tackling these challenges head-on by reducing our footprint and leveraging our scale to foster unprecedented collaboration across our value chain.”

Robert Hyland

Robert Hyland

WVXU talked to UC College of Arts and Sciences associate professor Amy Townsend-Small and associate professor educator Robert Hyland about what P&G's pledge means. Both teach in UC's Environmental Studies Program.

"One thing, obviously, that P&G has been criticized for is deforestation," Townsend-Small told WVXU. "So in order to make up the difference for cutting down old growth trees, you have to replant a forest that you somehow can guarantee is never going to be cut down or burned. And that's extremely difficult because, how do you do that?"

P&G said it would make changes throughout the company from its supply chain to manufacturing.

Townsend-Small told WVXU that the company could use its considerable corporate influence to encourage governments around the world to enact conservation measures.

"They need to use their political power. They have lobbyists that have a lot of influence on our government and world governments," she said. "I think that they should be putting pressure on the government to enact regulations on greenhouse gas emissions."

Hyland noted the issue of climate change requires urgent action.

"I don't think it's too late," Hyland told WVXU. "I think it's tragic that the corporate culture has waited this long to try and become leaders, but I don't think it's too late."

Listen to the WVXU story.