Business growth is key to post-pandemic recovery

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Loic Tassel, President, Europe, Procter & Gamble


  • The EU is investing billions in COVID-19 recovery plans to build a more resilient, sustainable economy.
  • P&G is committed to European recovery and plans to lead the FMCG industry through innovation, responsible growth and knowledge sharing.

I am a committed European, and despite the current crisis, as we say in French: “L’Europe est une belle opportunité”, and I know it will continue to be a beautiful opportunity, both for businesses and consumers.

Europe is an economic power and has the potential to be an even bigger power in the future. The EU is the second biggest economy in the world by GDP, after the US, and ahead of China in 2019. The region that P&G defines as ‘Europe’—much larger than the EU—equates to a third of the global economy, $30 trillion annual GDP. To us, crisis is a time to protect, serve and support, but also a time for investment in the future.

We are not alone in this. The EU is investing in the post-COVID-19 recovery: €827 billion will be spent on rebuilding Europe in 2021 and €260 billion per year will be invested into the European Green Deal. This is kickstarting the reignition and modernization of the European economy. It is estimated that digitization will contribute up to €2.5 trillion to the European economy in 2025. Europe is also a vibrant business and retail hub. It has world leading research and development, and a strong $100 billion media and marketing industry.

For P&G, Europe is the second most important region after the US with more than 20% of global sales. As a result, we believe that we have all it takes to be optimistic. We believe in Europe and we think that the cooperation—between governments, large manufacturers like us, the retail industry and our consumers—will create sustainable consumption, driving responsible growth that will be the key to recovery. coronavirus, health, COVID19, pandemic

What is the World Economic Forum doing to manage emerging risks from COVID-19?

The first global pandemic in more than 100 years, COVID-19 has spread throughout the world at an unprecedented speed. At the time of writing, 4.5 million cases have been confirmed and more than 300,000 people have died due to the virus.

As countries seek to recover, some of the more long-term economic, business, environmental, societal and technological challenges and opportunities are just beginning to become visible.

To help all stakeholders – communities, governments, businesses and individuals understand the emerging risks and follow-on effects generated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Marsh and McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, has launched its COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications – a companion for decision-makers, building on the Forum’s annual Global Risks Report.

Companies are invited to join the Forum’s work to help manage the identified emerging risks of COVID-19 across industries to shape a better future. Read the full COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications report here, and our impact story with further information.

Growth is the key to recovery

We believe that growth is the only possible answer to help lift Europe out of crisis. Growth is possible, and it is needed to mitigate the consequences of the global health crisis, as we will see pressure on economies, the labour market, and our societies. We need new ideas, new jobs and new development to counter confusion, uncertainty and economic downturn. We need growth and optimism to lift our societies out of the current situation.

We know this is possible, because the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry has done this before: the financial crisis of 2008 showed that while the total economy shrank – FMCG kept growing. The fiscal year 19-20 was one of P&G’s best years. We are in business because our categories are needed every day, as they enable life to continue and be more enjoyable at home.

Fast-moving consumer goods: backbone of the economy

FMCG companies like P&G are the engine of the economy, touching the lives of nearly a billion consumers across Europe and central Asia – directly and indirectly, every day. P&G Europe alone employs 32,000 people, operates 32 manufacturing plants in 15 countries, offering work, education, and stability to whole regions. European FMCG companies combined worth is well over €1 trillion annually and grew by over €75 billion in 2020*.

This industry provides 600 billion units sold every year to European consumers, sold at over 650,000 modern trade stores in Europe. This sector represents over 90,800 manufacturers and covers over 210 product categories, and despite the complications generated by the pandemic, the average category saw 150-200 new items launched per market in 2020, showing the need for products that FMCG (or as I would call it) ‘every-day-goods-companies’ are providing. This industry is a crucial pillar of the European economy and a bedrock of stability.

The industry’s responsibility and role in society

The FMGC industry currently helps stabilize European societies, but we are also creating the future. More than 2,000 P&G researchers are inventing products that Europeans will need in a changing world, and hundreds of P&G Brand Builders are inventing the future of FMCG, designed to serve consumers no matter what the context. Everyday products are an important part of everyone’s daily routine, making people feel well and safe, providing products that help them to stay healthy.

In 2021 we have a simple mission: we must make sure that these ‘everyday-products’ are available at any time, and that they are the best for our consumers. Additionally – and this should not be forgotten in COVID times – we must make sure that the lifecycle of these products respect the natural resources of our planet, that they are produced in a responsible way; a way that makes our employees, partners, stakeholders and our world thrive.

A time for reinventing responsible growth

Companies that prospered during the crisis need to act as a lighthouse and help others do business the right way. P&G focusses on five areas, and we are inviting our industry, and our partners, to join us:

1. We will drive sustainable innovation that serves the elevated hygiene and health needs of consumers.

2. We will continue to pioneer digitalization, building capabilities that will benefit our businesses but also our societies at large.

3. We will invest in our people, enabling them to develop a true growth mindset to become more resilient to crises and to invent the future for our consumers.

4. We will continue to pursue and speed up our race to achieve climate neutrality to protect the resources of our planet.

5. We will become an even stronger advocate of equality and inclusion, to make P&G Europe a lighthouse for a society where everyone is included.

Our clear focus on these five elements is precisely why P&G Europe is confident that we will deliver responsible growth in 2020-21, and that this growth will benefit our societies at large. In this process we look for partners to achieve this together, because if there is one thing we have learned throughout the pandemic, it is that we are all in this together, in the happy and bad moments. Only if Europeans collaborate and show solidarity we will be able to make Europe an even more beautiful opportunity for us and for the generations to come.

*Nielsen IQ Retail Intelligence including European Strategic Planner, data ending 27.12.2020.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Pro-EU forces won a 70% triumph in the European elections

Greater EU Civil Protection capacity needed in light of lessons from COVID-19

The world’s impact in a small Brazilian town and the increased demand for mental health

What will education look like in 20 years? Here are 4 scenarios

High level political talks didn’t break the stalemate in Ukraine

EU officially launches its first naval mission against migrant smugglers

Half the world’s refugee children not in school, UN agency finds

What does Tsipras have to offer to the rest of Europe? Is it worth an early advance of €10 billion? Berlin sturdily denies it

Spread Her Wings: Let Her Fly

This is the environmental catastrophe you’ve probably never heard of

Protecting farmers and quality products: vote on EU farm policy reform plans

Donors must do more to align development finance with climate goals

Can the Notre-Dame fire freeze the ‘Yellow Vests’ uprising?

What we need is more (and better) multilateralism, not less

ICC Appeals Chamber acquits former Congolese Vice President Bemba from war crimes charges

Venezuelan exodus to Ecuador reaches record levels: UN refugee agency steps up aid

Here’s how innovation could help car companies hit by COVID-19

Adriatic Sea: MEPs adopt multiannual plan for fisheries

GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Latin America, in association with The European Sting

How the Fourth Industrial Revolution can help us beat COVID-19

Dutch voters reject EU-Ukraine partnership and open a new pandora’s box for the EU

How we can embrace the electrical vehicle transition by adopting smart charging

Trade in fake Italian goods costs economy billions of euros

No hard drivers in sight to remodel the stagnating affairs of the EU

Charges against Baha’i in Yemen must be dropped: UN experts urge release of detainees

Conditions deteriorating alarmingly in Yemen, warns senior UN official

Six months after the Beirut port explosion: reflections from a first responder

5 things you need to know about your microbiome

GREXIT final wrap-up: nobody believed Aesop’s boy who cried wolf so many times

EU Parliament raises burning issues over the FTA with the US

UN Security Council hails ‘courage’ of Afghan voters

TTIP is not dead as of yet, the 15th round of negotiations in New York shouts

The Tears of lovely Memories

Parliament elects the von der Leyen Commission

Boosting the EU’s Green Recovery: EU invests over €2 billion in 140 key transport projects to jump-start the economy

The Great Reset needs great leaders to help the most vulnerable

How global tech can drive local healthcare innovation in China

EU elections 2019: Rise of nationalist trends and populism in Europe challenges the EU edifice

MEPs back measures to reconcile career and private life

Fostering global citizenship in medical students through exchanges

Brazilian officer a ‘stellar example’ of why more women are needed in UN peacekeeping

Dreaming of China

Code of Practice on Disinformation one year on: online platforms submit self-assessment reports

South Asia can become an innovation hub. Here’s how

First calls under Horizon Europe to be launched by the European Research Council

European Commission calls on national political parties to join efforts to ensure free and fair elections in Europe

An American duel in Brussels: Salesforce against Microsoft over Linkedin deal

How Mobile Technology is Changing the Healthcare System

SRHR the indispensable ally in ending HIV

Mental health in the pandemic: how to stay emotionally stable?

Suicide Prevention: Using Graduation as a Transformative Tool

As the inventor of copy and paste dies, here are other computing innovations we take for granted

Give a chance to the brothers of Ailan: reception of refugees in Greece

Rare diseases are more common than you might think

Coronavirus: rescEU medical stockpile expands in four Member States

Finland has giant supermarkets that only stock second-hand goods

Working Muslim women are a trillion-dollar market

Why does the whole world want Britain to stay in the EU?

New rules make household appliances more sustainable

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s