Bringing Net Zero Goals to the Washing Machine with Todd Cline of Procter & Gamble

March 19, 2024

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Todd Cline currently serves as Senior Director, Head of Sustainability, Procter & Gamble, North America Fabric Care. In this role, Cline is responsible for developing new programs and business operations across Tide and Gain laundry detergents, the leading brands in the industry, to continuously deliver better outcomes for people and planet. He plays a critical role in leading sustainability efforts, including the design and launch of Tide purclean, the first plant-based detergent with the cleaning power of Tide. He also leads Tide’s partnership with WWF and Hanes on the importance of cold water washing.

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John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact Podcast. I’m John Shegerian, and I’m so honored to have with us, today, Todd Cline. He’s a senior director of sustainability of Procter & Gamble, North America Fabric Care. Welcome, Todd, to the Impact Podcast.

Todd Cline: Thank you so much for having me.

John: You know, Todd, before we get talking about all the important things you and your colleagues are doing for Fabric Care and in sustainability at Procter & Gamble, I first want to know a little bit more about you. Can you share about the Todd Cline story, where you grew up, and how did you get on this fascinating and important journey that you’re on?

Todd: Yeah, sure. So, I grew up in a very small town in eastern Kentucky. Procter & Gamble was based in Cincinnati. So, I grew up about two and a half hours from here, a tiny town. Literally, a two-stoplight town because we had two stop lights, a couple more caution lights, but two that turned red. So, a very tiny town, grew up there, developed a love of nature there, for sure. Went on, studied at University of Kentucky, and just after undergrad, I came straight into Procter & Gamble.

I started and spent most of my career here so far in R&D. I moved into this role the last few years outside of R&D. But for much of my life, I’ve lived in a very small triangle of eastern Kentucky about two hours west of Lexington to go to school at UK. Then about an hour and a half north to Cincinnati to work for P&G. But during my career here, at one point, I had the opportunity to go work in Europe for Procter & Gamble. I was based in Brussels, but while I was there, I also worked a ton of time in Geneva and developed a lot of good friendships through other P&G colleagues in Geneva. I was on a ski share for a chalet in Chamonix the first couple of years, and learned to ski as an adult and just fell in love with it.

That’s really the time that started to change my trajectory from a working in sustainability standpoint because we were there. This is like 2005, 2006, and a couple of things came together one day. We were waiting to go skiing, but it was super windy. So, the lifts weren’t turning yet, and I just picked up a magazine that someone in the chalet had brought, and had an article about climate change and the way it could impact skiing in the future. I had always been into the outdoors and nature. When I thought about sustainability, it was primarily litter and waste, and how do you keep the outdoors clean and water quality. How to make sure we’ve got safe and clean water and plenty of it.

But this started to open my eyes more to the impact of climate, which I didn’t know a whole lot about. At about the same time, an inconvenient truth came out. We as a group in the chalet watched that one weekend as well. That’s really when I started to delve into climate. As someone who was loving the mountains, and skiing, I saw the projections for what it could do there, and just how it could impact something that I really love. So, as I moved back to the US, I looked at, well, we create products that reach a lot of people and we make a lot of them.

So, are there things I can just naturally build into my work and try to help make some improvement from a sustainability standpoint? When I first came back, I worked on Swiffer. So, I was in our surface care business. We had Swiffer and Mr. Clean, and we did our first life cycle assessment when I worked on Swiffer for that business, looking at the carbon impact of using Swiffer Wet and Swiffer WetJet to mop up the floor and understand that. I was surprised to learn that it was actually lower carbon to use sweeper than traditional mop and bucket because generally people don’t use cold water when they mop a floor. They use warmer hot water, which became a pretty good precursor into the role I’m in now.

As I moved into Fabric Care, I was asked, “What role would you like to work on?” The first thing I said was sustainability, and this was 2014. So, a few years ago, and I’ve always had incredibly supportive leadership along the way, and they said, “Great. You can build it in as part of your work plan.” What started out as a really small part of the work I was doing became over the course of four or five years, 100% of my job. Now, I’m in this role where I’ve moved out of R&D and get to lead our overall sustainability efforts for brands like Tide and Gain, Dreft, Downy, and get to lead both our technical work to make sure we’ve got plans to meet all of our commitments and reduce our footprint, but also lead our commercial efforts on how do we engage consumers and how do we just go to market with these products.

John: That’s so interesting. First of all, the beautiful– how do I say it best– paradox that inspired you, the beauty of Geneva and skiing in Geneva itself paints a picture of such grandeur and beauty and gorgeous environmental settings. Watching Inconvenient Truth and then learning about climate change and what was really coming.

It’s almost a generation ago. We’re in ’23, we’re moving into 2024. I want to say Inconvenient Truth either came out in 2005 or 2006. So, it’s fascinating. Sustainability wasn’t a thing when you were watching that, when you were getting inspired by the environment and getting inspired by Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. We didn’t have chief sustainability officers in the United States back then, or directors of impact and things of that such.

So you were very early, very early to this whole issue of sustainability and how do we start pushing back on these big trends of climate change and other big trends in sustainability that have now accelerated massively, and even you, were early when you took the position in ‘14, just recently things have accelerated, I want to say. I want to say, let’s just say the last five years, even ’14, which is going to be now next year, 10 years ago, it was still very early in this trajectory, this sustainability and climate change journey.

Todd: Yeah, I’ve had a lot of lucky things happen along the way. I think one of them was that time I spent in Europe, for sure, for many reasons was very lucky in my life. It was an amazing experience, but for the passion and how it opened my eyes on climate because I think we had sustainability. Even then, certainly at P&G, we were doing a lot on how do you reduce the amount of water, or the amount of packaging, things like that.

But it wasn’t so much about climate, but a lot was happening on the sustainability front just through a different lens than climate. Then when I moved into our Fabric Care organization, I was just lucky that I had very understanding and supportive management. When I said, “I want to take on sustainability as one of the things I work on”, they said, “Sure.” It wasn’t the only thing I worked on. Mine wasn’t a role that was 100% sustainability when I started it. I think for a lot of people, that’s how we get here. You start out with a passion and it’s part of your work and it just keeps growing and then it becomes everything you’re doing.

John: Well, as you and I have learned along the way, because my beginnings in sustainability go back to yours as well, sustainability, there’s no finish line. It’s a journey. But let’s go over your title, senior director, director for sustainability of Procter & Gamble, North America Fabric Care. Now, the cool thing about what I get to do, Todd, is I get to meet, because of this show, I’m so honored and blessed at the same time that I get to meet so many great people like you with so many fascinating titles doing very important work. But as you and I know, the titles can be read narrowly or widely, depending on the brands that they represent and also the roles that they were tasked with. What role specifically, given your title, how wide is your role now at Procter & Gamble? On a day-to-day, month-to-month basis, what do your duties look like?

Todd: Yeah, day-to-day, it changes a lot, but maybe I can talk about what the role is. It is a newly created role from a couple of years ago. I’m the first one to sit in this role in Fabric Care. We created it.

John: That’s great.

Todd: I think of it as almost like a small version of the chief sustainability officer. We have an amazing chief sustainability officer for the company, Virginie, but I get to lead our sustainability efforts within North America Fabric Care. Basically, I’m charged with how do we make sure that we have the plans to deliver all of our commitments that we’ve made from a sustainability standpoint? We’ve got very significant commitments from climate, waste or packaging, water and nature across the board. We’re a large, large business when we think about Tide, Gain, Downy, Dreft, 9 Elements is a plant-based brand we have as well.

So, a large range of brands, making sure that we’re creating the programs and the technologies to deliver on what we committed to in 2030. We’re on the glide path to get to where we want to be in 2040. But then also, how do we make sure that we’re bringing that to life for consumers as well and helping them use our products in the most sustainable way? For people who are looking for more information and learning about sustainability, that they can get to what we’re doing and be able to see, “Oh, they’re already making the product with 100% wind-powered electricity.

They actually built a wind farm out in Texas or, oh, all these packages are recyclable or using recycled material and packaging already.” Things like that, that people who are into sustainability want to be able to get information. So, just how do we–commercialization is probably not the best term– but how do we communicate what we’re doing, but also just sometimes we don’t even talk about sustainability, but we look for ways to help people use our products more sustainably, like cold water washing.

John: Well, let’s talk about Tide for a little bit. So, Tide is America’s number one laundry detergent, and it’s been around forever. I’m 61 and I grew up with Tide, so I know it’s been around for at least 75 years or so. Talk a little bit about your Ambition 2030 initiative and Tide’s involvement with that. Then go into a little bit of what you just said, the consumer, the importance of the consumer, how you take your Ambition 2030 initiative with Tide and translate it into actionable items by your consumers that you think they’ll care about the most.

Todd: Yeah, sure. So, maybe I’ll start with the company ambition, and then what’s the role that Tide plays and what are we doing beyond what the company has been doing.

John: That would be great.

Todd: So, Procter & Gamble, as we think about our key commitments, first of all climate, we’ll start with, and that’s where I think we’ll spin the bulk of this event. But from a climate standpoint, the company has committed to net zero by 2040. I think all the growing science says we need the planet to be net zero by 2050. We’re certainly supportive of that and we’re taking on how we get there by 2040. So, we’ve committed as a company and certainly tied within that to getting to net zero by 2040.

But in consumer goods, and we’re making this declaration back in 2020-ish, 20 years is a long timeframe for how we think about the master plan. So, we also have guardrails in 2030, which at the time seemed a long way out, but it’s coming up on us quickly. From a climate standpoint by 2030, the company is committed to a 40% reduction in CO2 per use for the product. So, products being scoped through emissions, raw materials, packaging components coming in. For the company to hit the 40%, we, in fabric care, need to deliver 50% of those. So for our business, we’re looking at how we deliver a 50% reduction in CO2 per use. Also, from an operations standpoint in climate, we’ve committed to 100% renewable electricity for all of our operations and climate neutrality for our manufacturing operations.

So scope one, scope two by 2030. So, a very big undertaking from a climate standpoint for the company. As we think about waste, we’ve committed to 100% of our packaging being recyclable or reusable and a 50% reduction in virgin resin. Then water, 35% reduction in water in our operations. So, we have a broad plan. We think of them as pillars, wastewater, climate and nature. But the roof on top of the pillars is all about doing this with superior product. Because we know the vast majority of people that buy products are buying them based on the core job that that product does. When people buy laundry detergent, as much as we’re putting a ton of effort into how we drive down virgin resin, how do we drive down greenhouse gasses for the raw materials, they’re buying it to clean clothes. So, we’re going to deliver all of these commitments. So, driving down our impact while driving up the consumer experience. So, you’ve got sort of one arrow going up on superiority, yet another going down, which creates some technical challenges for us. But those are the company commitments.

John: Understood.

Todd: We’re a science-based company, for sure, as well, and we see the best sustainability science tool as life cycle assessment. So, we’re big users of LCA. For anyone who’s not familiar with it, LCA stands for life cycle assessment. It basically looks at the impact across all the touch points of producing raw materials, producing packaging materials. Those are things done by suppliers for us. Our manufacturing operations, transportation of the product out to retailers or to homes, consumer use.

So, for us in Tide, that’s when people actually do a load of laundry, and then end of life. End of life is both what happens to the packaging, which is what most people think of, but also what goes down the drain and wastewater treatment, dealing with just what comes out of the washer. As we look at the life cycle assessment for a load of laundry, it’s surprising to most people. But almost 70% of the carbon footprint is not the raw materials or packaging or manufacturing. It’s the consumer use phase. It’s all driven by what temperature people choose to do their load of laundry. That’s 70% of the carbon footprint of a load of laundry.

If someone switches from hot to cold, it reduces the energy by 90%. If they switch from warm to cold, it reduces it by 70%. So, it’s not like warm is in the middle and warm is good enough. So, as we looked at that, we knew we had the net zero commitment and we needed to do it. We need to deliver net zero for sure. That’s incumbent on us to do. But it felt disingenuous to do all this focus on net zero, knowing that 70% of the emissions are actually what temperature people choose. So, for Tide, in addition to net zero, we’ve also committed to getting 75% of loads in North America to cold by 2030. Three out of four loads of laundry done in the US and Canada will be on cold by 2030. Not three out of four Tide loads, but the entire market is what we’re taking on.

It sounds like a small act of, right, washing it on cold. It’s not a big effort to make that change, but the impact is huge because we do over 30 billion loads of laundry in the US and Canada every year. By getting from where we started at about 48% of loads on cold, when we made the declaration in January of 2020, to 75% of loads on cold by the end of the decade, it would avoid over 27 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. It’s a big number. It’s like, well, what do you do with 27 million tons? So, just to frame it a little, that’s over 10x the total Procter & Gamble operations emissions. Or it’s the equivalent of powering both New York and San Francisco for an entire year from an emissions standpoint.

John: Wow.

Todd: So, this little act of getting people to switch to cold is a huge challenge, but it also has a huge payout from an environmental standpoint.

John: I get the payout, Todd. Explain the challenge. How hard is it to shift people’s mindset, and where does this come from? Was this because we were all raised to believe that warm water washing made the clothes cleaner? Are you up against cultural and legacy behavior? Talk about where the challenge comes from? As you’re a science-back company, so I know a base company. So I know you have that information, and then how are you going to scientifically attack that to make people realize your clothes can be just as clean using our detergents. You just have to put it on cold and we can all make the world a better place together.

Todd: Yeah. Well, you hit it right on the head. Do you do your laundry? Let’s start with that.

John: Yes.

Todd: How do you do it? Do you do all the loads at the same temperature or do you switch them around?

John: I switch them around, honestly.

Todd; Yeah, that’s very common, and you probably learned that from someone when you were starting to do laundry…

John: Sure.

Todd: …of, “These loads, do on hot,” because you need the toughest cleaning you can get. “These loads are in warm”, which will be a good chunk of them. Then for these loads that you care about the most because you don’t want them to shrink, you don’t want them to fade, wash those on cold.

John: So, for my household, all the whites, I do all the wash. All the towels are on hot or warm, and all the colors are in cold.

Todd: Yeah, you’re very common in that respect, and that’s exactly what we’re up against. I think the good thing that we’re starting from is when we made this declaration, close to 50% of loads were already in cold, 48%. That’s because people recognize exactly what you said. That is the best way to care for my clothes, but there’s this belief that warm water cleans better than cold and hot water cleans better than warm, and those are true. It’s just science. If you use hotter water, it will clean better. What our strategy is, is make Tide so good at cleaning that you never need to use warm or hot.

Yeah, higher temperatures will always do better because of just the thermodynamics and dissolving greases and things like that. But we make it our aspiration of what we’re doing is make it so good, you never need to choose warm and never need to use hot. So, that is our focus from a product standpoint. We knew when we started this campaign back in 2021, that we already had very high consumer delight and very strong technical results as we washed in cold. But we’ve still been upgrading the product basically every year for better cold water cleaning along the way because we know people have a very high bar, and if we convince someone to wash on cold and it doesn’t live up to their standard, if we get you to switch to your sheets or your towels and you take them out and they don’t look as clean or they don’t smell as clean, you’re not going to do the next load in cold. So we know we have to deliver delight.

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So, it all starts with putting the power of all of our R&D chemists and scientists against coming up with materials that work incredibly well at low temperature. So, we’ve got specially designed enzymes for working in cold water. Excuse me, we’ve got polymers that help boost cleaning performance. We’ve got antioxidants to help with making sure there’s no malodor. Just all sorts of technologies built in that are designed especially to help it work in cold temperatures. So, designing the product to work great is the starting point, but then the next one is you got to convince people to switch.

We launched a campaign back in 2021, Cold Callers, that had a bunch of celebrities in it to really shake people out of complacency on thinking about doing their laundry. It talks about saving up to $150 per year by washing cold. That was something people were not thinking about at that time. Reduce your carbon footprint by washing on cold and get a deep down clean with Tide by washing on cold. So, still get the deep down clean and you can get these other benefits. The benefit we didn’t talk about at that time was, “And care for your clothes better,” because people already, that was top of mind on wash on cold, but trying to bring these new benefits out of, “Oh wait, I could reduce my carbon footprint, or wow, I could save up to $150.” Get people to think about it when they go to wash and really engage in it.

So, much of our focus has been, it started with opening people’s minds to new benefits of washing on cold. Then we followed up last year with another set of EV. With all of this, we supported digital and online and everything else called myth washers, where it shows what appears to be impossible stains and Tide bringing them out on cold. So showing stains that people just wouldn’t have in their home, and showing that even these stains, Tide can get out in cold. So surely, it can work for what you do. But I think the other important thing we’ve really focused on is partnerships to help tell our story. So, one of the best in class I would say is the NFL. A couple of years ago we did a program with the NFL, where we converted half of the NFL teams over to washing on cold with Tide.

All their uniforms, all their towels, all their practice gear, every load they did, and they’re still doing, washing on cold. We also created a TV commercial with Matt Ryan about that. We did activation in the cities, but it was another way of showing, “Look, it works for the NFL, surely it will work for your home to help get clothes clean.” So, much of our work is opening people’s eyes to the benefits of the cold, and then also just reassuring that it’s really going to work. That was a very fun one to work on. We had half the NFL doing it. Both teams in the Super Bowl that first year, the Rams and the Bengals were washing on cold.

John: Wow.

Todd: Unfortunately, the Rams beat our Bengals, but by our math, you’ve got a 100% chance of being in the Super Bowl if you’re washing on cold. So, we would definitely recommend it for everyone.

John: I love it.

Todd: Another great partnership for it is the Hanes brand as well. They actually label all their garments to wash on cold in the care instructions. So, it’s another way to engage people as they look at items. But we’ll do special packs at different times of the year with communication in store and even an iPod sample in Hanes packaging to talk about the benefits of washing on cold. Just trying to capture people in different areas and get them to think about washing on cold.

John: Since I know information is power in terms of knowledge is power and information is important to develop your knowledge, talk a little bit about age ranges. Are you finding different behavior among the washing community? I’m 61. I was inundated with the legacy information and legacy behavior. Are you finding the new kids, the new generation are much more open to the information that you’re getting out there and changing and creating the right behavioral habits upfront because they know you’re saving 90% energy on every load of laundry that’s done in cold? How do the generational shifts go in terms of when you’re marketing to different age groups and sexes?

Todd: Yeah. Well, I guess I’ll start with your story of someone who taught you the right way to do laundry. You use multiple temperatures, depending on the load, it’s not different from the story of the young consumers and people starting to do laundry today. I don’t think that has changed. So, learning the habit of how to do laundry and using different temperatures for different things, we don’t see a big difference there. I think the other thing that we found as we did this is, I’m very passionate about climate. I’m all about this. Look at the impact we can have from reducing CO2 and that’s meaningful from a climate standpoint.

John: Sure.

Todd: What turns out as we test the ideas, saving up to $150 appeals to a lot more people than reducing your carbon footprint. So, one of the things we’ve learned is you really need to reach consumers where they are with the messaging that works to help drive, “I’m going to try cold.” If people’s number one motivation in moving to cold is, “I can save $150”, it’s still the same environmental footprint reduction as someone who says, “I’m going to wash on cold because I know that reduces CO2 by 90% in use.” The motivation doesn’t matter; the impact is the same. So, I would say we’ve not seen drastic differences by ages. We are seen as we test ideas. I think you can just see it in the news, more and more engagement by everyone in the challenges of climate and being able to talk about, here’s one more little thing you can do to have an impact. It’s not a single age that that appeals to.

John: Todd, I never knew. Now, I get to do these shows and I’ve done over 2,000 of these shows with all sorts of neat people and spreading all sorts of great information on sustainability, climate change, and ESG. I’ve never heard that statistic before. I think that’s such an important and fascinating statistic. Doing your laundry in cold with Tide saves 90% of the energy. That’s great.

Todd: Absolutely. But it’s a big undertaking to get 75% of the loads there. The other great partner we’ve had is WWF, World Wildlife Foundation. We partnered to do some behavior science-based research and worked with an organization and created, “It’s the behavior Insights team, is the external group that we worked with together and created a model called the ‘East Model’ to look at how we think about the science of behavior change. This study is on WWF’s website for anyone who’s working in brands and looking at how do I go about sustainable behavior changes? But East it’s, how do you make it easy, attractive, social and timely? So, as we think about doing laundry easy, how do you make it so that when I go to the machine, either the default temperature is cold, or I make it super easy to choose cold as I’m at the machine? So how do we partner? We work with GE, Electrolux, Samsung, all the washing machine manufacturers. How do we work together to make it easier for consumers?

John: I love it. [crosstalk].

Todd: It’s attractive, it’s to save $150, but for some people it’s also to reduce the environmental footprint. But how do we just make it something that speaks to them? Socially, we’re doing a lot to make washing cold the next big eco habits. So hopefully people are seeing that out there in the ether. Then timely, it is about most people are not thinking nonstop about doing laundry like I and our team do. But how do we capture them at the point where they’re washing their clothes or have it on the package where they’re dispensing the product and on the machine with that reminder? So, that’s out there for anyone who wants to look at a behavior-based model for work.

John: For our listeners and viewers who’ve just joined us, we’ve got Todd Clein with us today. He’s a senior director, also the director for sustainability at Procter and Gamble. He’s in charge of North America Fabric Care. To find Todd and his colleagues, please go to We’ll also put some great show notes while leading people to show them all about the Turn to Cold commitments that you have. What I love about your approach, Todd, is that, as you say, there’s not one way to get people to engage in the wonderful mix of performance and sustainability. Like you said, whether you get them to make their impact by convincing them that they’re saving $150, or the fact that they’re saving the environment and making the planet a better place, doesn’t really matter. The impact is the same.

That’s really an important message for our listeners and viewers to hear. It doesn’t really matter how you convince people to move in the right direction when the impact is going to be so important, and the environment is at stake, which affects all of us. It just moves them in the right direction, and there’s lots of ways to get them there. That’s such an important message, and I think it’s great what you’re doing over there.

Todd: Yeah. I think our team is very committed to anything we do in the sustainability space that needs to be accessible to everyone and done at a large scale. So, that’s why I think we’re more agnostic on the message that it doesn’t have to be about the environmental impact. We just want to have the impact and we want it to reach everyone.

John: What have you learned in this journey? Since you made these commitments in 2020 and started these campaigns in 2021, what key learnings or insights that jumped up and shocked you or surprised you a little bit, that you’ve gleaned from all these different campaigns, NFL, WWF and all these other campaigns that you’ve been running? The cold calling, by the way, that didn’t get by me. That’s a hell of a pun. The cold calling, truly, that was really cold calling when you guys had Cold Calling. What surprised you in your learnings since you’ve launched this?

Todd: Yeah, man, there’s been so much. I think one is just the power of partnerships of Tide. We’re a big brand, but the impact that we’re having by getting with more partners is certainly magnified. I think we’re going to continue to double down on that, and you will see us look for more and more partnerships on how we get the message out there and work together. Look at the broader ecosystem of, it’s not just the product. It’s the product and the clothing manufacturers and the washing machine manufacturers. Who else is in the ecosystem? Energy providers. There’s a lot.

John: Right.

Todd: So, how do we partner with more people? Finding like-minded partners can really accelerate the impact. I think another thing that we’re learning is behavior change can be hard. Looking through the behavioral science lens and what we did with WWF and applying that is somewhat new muscles that we’re developing. We’ve had good success so far. I mentioned we were at 48% of loads when we made the declaration back in 2020. We’re up to 57% of loads now.

John: It’s huge.

Todd: So, we have a large proportion of the loads that are on cold that almost 4 million tons of CO2 avoided so far this decade. So, we’re on the journey, but we’ve had good success so far. But I think the first ones are probably the easiest ones to convert and they get asymptotically harder, but behavior change is hard. I think the other thing that I’m really excited about, the other side of me, the R&D and engineer side of it, is we’re doing this while we’re driving down the carbon footprint of the product and making it clean better on cold. I get really excited with a lot of the work we’re doing with established people that we’ve worked with for a long time, but also startups in the space that are working on low carbon solutions for materials and packaging resins and things like that. I see those things and I have a lot of hope, not just for 2030, but for the 2040 net zero, and those things excite me a lot for sure.

John: Got it. Sustainability is a journey. Clothes are very important to us. What I’ve learned in my journey in sustainability, Todd, is the three things that people hold closest to them are the most personal. The food that they eat and how they dispose of it. Electronics that keep us all connected, and the clothes that we wear. So, you are working in, to me, one of the things that are most nearest and dearest to people’s hearts in sustainability. Talk a little bit about what you’re allowed to talk about. I know you’re a publicly traded entity, so there’s always some things that you could say. What gets you excited about the continued journey? Next year’s going to be 10 years since you’ve really taken over in terms of sustainability and leadership at Procter and Gamble, but you’re a young guy. There’s more to come. What are you excited about as you move on to the next 10 years of your journey at Procter and Gamble?

Todd: Yeah. Well, like I said, I get really excited about some of the technologies that I see coming. We’re working with a startup based out in Berkeley that we’ve been doing some learning with named 12, and some others that they’re taking captured CO2 and turning it into usable materials, where you can get to actually carbon negative stuff. So, some of that stuff I get really excited about. You talked about clothing and how important that is to people.

John: Yeah.

Todd: One of the other ways that you expand the ecosystem, I talked about bringing more people in, who are impacted by the cold, but the impact we could have if we could get people to keep clothes longer and put off buying new clothes is massive. The impact of clothing manufacture from a carbon standpoint and also landfill impact of textiles are both massive challenges that we need to solve as a world.

John: Exactly.

Todd: We’ve got some really cool things already built into our product to help clothes look new longer. Washing on cold, it’s people who wash things on cold that they don’t want to shrink and fade. Why would you want anything to shrink and fade? Just moves like that, if you can get people to wear jeans one more time, two more times, three more times, or that t-shirt before they buy a replacement, it starts to really add up. So, I think longer term, looking at what’s the impact we could have from helping clothes last longer could be a really cool one as well.

John: Todd, take yourself back to Geneva watching Inconvenient Truth. You and I were having a fun chat before we went on the air talking about the Bengals great win this past Monday night. Now, where are we in this? Now, that you’re really a sustainability, OG, and been doing this now 20 years at least thinking about it, and then having a chance to act on it at under this great umbrella of Procter and Gamble with all these great brands that you have, Tide, Gain Dreft, 9 elements, all these other things, where are we in our sustainability journey and this climate change journey on the planet? Are we in the middle of the first quarter? Are we at halftime? Are we in the fourth quarter? Where are we? Where do you feel are we, and are we going to get there and be able to turn this ship around before anything truly catastrophic happens?

Todd: Yeah, it’s a tough question. I would say, I think we’re probably somewhere midway through the second quarter.

John: Okay.

Todd: I say that because I think 2030 is halftime because we, and so many others, have major commitments that we’ve made for what we’ll deliver by 2030. I feel very good about where things are headed there, but of course, I only really get to see what we’re doing. But I’m excited to see what happens with 2030, and I think that sets up what’s the halftime talk from the coach and how do we play the second half? But I think 2030 is halftime and we’re halfway through the second quarter. We’re definitely not at kickoff, though. I look at what’s been set up within our company from an activity system on, we don’t have a small group of people working on sustainability. We’re all working on sustainability. It’s integrated into everyone’s job. Ten years ago that wasn’t the case. I think other companies are in the same place. So, it’s not a small corporate group’s job to work sustainability. It’s what we do to deliver sustainability. I think those were the days when you were at kickoff and you had a small group of people yelling, “Hey, we need to do something.”

John: That’s right.

Todd: “We need to do something.” I don’t think we’re there anymore. I think we’re well into the second quarter, but 2030 I think is halftime.

John: Thank gosh, there’s people like you and your colleagues at Procter and Gamble really doing this great, important work. For our listeners and viewers, to find Todd and his colleagues, please go to We’ll put in the show notes, all the information we talked about today. Some great footnotes, and show notes and links to the Turn to Cold campaign that they have. Everybody, do your laundry in cold water; save 90% of the energy. We got to get Todd and his group up 18 more points in the next six years. So, we got to get them to 75% so we could fight this climate change together. Todd Clein, thank you for all the important impactful work you and your colleagues are doing at Tide and Procter and Gamble. Thank you for the commitment you’re on and thank you for making the world a better place.

Todd: Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to talk with you.

John: This edition of The Impact Podcast is brought to you by Engage. Engage is a digital booking platform revolutionizing the talent booking industry. With thousands of athletes, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and business leaders, Engage is the go-to spot for booking talent, for speeches, custom experiences, live streams, and much more. For more information on Engage, or to book talent today, visit This edition of The Impact Podcast is brought to you by ERI. ERI has a mission to protect people, the planet and your privacy, and is the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company in the United States, and maybe even the world. For more information on how ERI can help your business properly dispose of outdated electronic hardware devices, please visit

Background on Tide’s cold water story

Tide is America’s #1 laundry detergent, and for over 75 years, the brand has been committed to changing the way laundry is done. 53 million homes in America trust Tide for its superior cleaning power, so we take seriously the responsibility, and ability, to create change at scale.

That’s why Tide has set its own Ambition 2030, with actionable goals to reduce emissions across its lifecycle in the next several years on its journey to decarbonize laundry. And truly decarbonizing laundry means addressing all parts of the value chain. When we look at the laundry lifecycle, we can see that a whopping two-thirds of the climate footprint of laundry comes from the consumer use phase, specifically driven by the energy required to heat water in the wash cycle.

To help drive the greatest impact for our planet, Tide is going beyond P&G’s Net Zero by 2040 commitment to specifically address consumer use, with a goal to turn 3 in 4 loads of laundry to cold water by 2030.

Washing in cold (vs. hot) water saves over 90% energy in every load of laundry. Put another way, that’s enough energy savings to power the entire average American household for over an hour. When you consider that there are 30 billion loads of laundry done annually in the U.S. and Canada, those energy savings add up to big impact for our planet.

If Tide can meet its goal to turn 3 in 4 loads to cold by 2030, we can avoid 27MMMT of GHG emissions, which is more than 10x the emissions of P&G’s annual global operations. It would be an energy savings and GHG emissions reduction equivalent to powering down all of New York City and San Francisco for over a year.