? Ariel cares for our environment ?

?Outstanding cleaning from as low as 15?, now that?s Brrrrilant?

Sunday 5 June 2011, by Amelie Mazurier, Clemence Dubois, Clo Miret

6 inspired

a) The main facts about the activities of the company

Ariel is a company that was launched in 1960. At that time, it appears as an innovative and a more efficient way to wash clothes as before it was a laborious activity mainly done by hands: it was a revolution in woman?s lives! Ariel has always been a company that concentrates its activities on improving its products while answering its customers? needs (it created many products that matched with its consumers? expectations by activating bleach, taking care of the colors?).
But among that, all along their products? development, Ariel innovates according to the environment (by reducing its packaging volume, by reducing the wastewater treatment...). For instance, it created the washing Ariel Ultra allowing for more compact detergents; Ariel doses? sizes that get smaller and smaller or the pre-measured liquatabs and tablets... Ariel does everything to be part of the challenge we are facing today: fighting climate changes and water scarcity!
Around 2009, Ariel launched its last revolutionary products: Ariel Excel Gel, a product that makes the pre-wash cycle useless and help reducing the use of electricity as you can wash perfectly at a temperature of 15?. Such innovation enables consumers to reduce their electricity consumption up to 40% and their water consumption up to 50%. Moreover, the company was able to reduce its means of transportation up to 57% and its use of packaging up to 45%! Ariel creates profits by benefiting at the same time to the consumers and the environment!
We now understand why Ariel is seen in consumers? mind as their ?guardian angel? and why it is one of the leaders in laundry soaps products!

b) The ethical challenges this company is addressing

Although Ariel takes its responsibility in improving our environments? conditions and thus tries to act according to its Corporate Social Responsibility it also has to deal with challenges that can have an impact on its image!
The ethical dilemma that this company faced and still faces today is: improving the washing of clothes to make more profit while taking care of the environment or caring only about profits!
On the one hand, this means that if they want to make more profit and still be the leader in this industry, they have to create products that wash better and better and this can be done by the use of more efficient detergents that can pollute the soils, the air?
On the other hand, Ariel is conscious about the dilemma that we all face today regarding the environment and the world we will give to our children. Thus it has to create products that care about the environment and benefits consumers by giving them the opportunity to reduce their electricity and water consumption while they are doing their laundry? Of course, this strategy would imply more expenses on R&D to find efficient ways to get an impeccable wash without polluting our environment but in the meantime it benefits their image and makes it a unique brand.

c) What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it

To be able to develop the Ariel Excel Gel 15?C, Ariel had to invest in a three years R&D project. It demonstrates that it is a firm concerned about innovation to assure future revenues but also to find creative solutions in order to preserve the environment. In addition, Ariel?s products are real value for money and work properly; they really allow people to save electricity and pollution linked to the products? transportation.
This company deserves to be trusted because it is working in a business model where ethics and profits go together. Ariel has also understood that the consumer pays both for the quality of the soap and for the reduced environmental footprint Ariel Excel has. That is, it evolves ecologically with its consumers? needs.
But this business has its own limits. Indeed, we all know that soaps pollute water and that in the near future it will be a huge problem. Trying to convince people not to wash is clearly not an option, as their quality of live would suffer too much from it. But on the other hand it is a considerable pressure on the environmental and water stress problems. So, it appears to us that Ariel can be seen as an ethical company as this leading brand makes the first step to solve this tension. Because, even if Ariel does it for its own profit, at least in the consequentialist perspective it is creating good consequences for all of us and obliges all market follower brands to do the same.

d) The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve

We think that Ariel next step should be to make their Excel soaps biodegradable too. In other words, there is still much to improve in the field of avoiding water pollution due to soaps. So this company will clearly need to keep being innovative and running important researches towards Corporate Social Responsibilities objectives.
A major challenge for Ariel is that each new product cost a lot of R&D resources. And, it is important to underline that once an innovative products is created, competitors normally copy it quite fast and at lower costs. So, clearly patent and competition issues can be a threat to Ariel innovation investments. But given its past history, it is obvious that it is not a sound problem, as Ariel has always been a leading and innovative brand. So, we can just hope it will continue following the same steps and investing to create a future where housewives will be satisfied and environment saved.




Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain

Sector: household care, fabric care, ariel

Official website: http://www.ariel.co.uk/Products/ArielExcelGel.aspx

Key figures:

Net sales (2010): 30% of P&G net sales (78,938 millions) are for fabric care and home care products (including Ariel products).

Net earnings (2010): 28% of P&G net sales (12,736 millions) are for fabric care and home care products (including Ariel products).

Countries of operations: North America, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Nbr. visits: 1917

Nbr. inspires: 6