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Stain remover pen inventor visits College of Business

Submitted by Kwami K. Kwami on November 2, 2011 – 5:39 pmNo Comment

Professor Roy Sandbach, a global household care research fellow at Proctor & Gamble Co., who invented the Tide-to-Go stain remover stick, visited UALR last week at the invitation of College of Business Dean Anthony F. Chelte.

He participated in two free public events at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Business and Economic Development. The first was the biannual Dean’s Forum sponsored by the business dean’s office on the evening of  Oct. 24. The second was a community discussion on the afternoon of Oct. 25, hosted by the UALR student chapter of Net Impact.

Both events gave Sandbach opportunities to discuss his 30-year career and how the impact of long-term social entrepreneurship and global sustainability goals of P&G.

“We are a company that requires people to consume things. We create an environment for consumption within the context of consumer demand,” he said. “At the same time, we want to make a positive difference in the lives of the people who use our products.”

Over the last decade, he has witnessed a significant change in the company’s overall sustainable purpose, community-orientation, and impact through social awareness, which he said delights him. However, this is placed on the backdrop of a reality that P&G is a low cost, big scale producer of things, making it very difficult to change in product types.

“Even if we found a way to get out of the issue of oil, we would find ourselves getting into another issue with something else to replace it,” he said, “this is a consumer piece outside of our control. What we can control is the manufacturing aspect of our business. That is the easy piece.”

P&G has set a 2017 goal of making all of their factories worldwide 100% carbon neutral by holistically developing products. They have also introduced Tide Cold Water which they believe addresses the single biggest problem resulting from the consumer usage of their products: the temperature in washing clothes.

Sandbach also discussed micro-manufacturing as an absolutely critical element of social entrepreneurship at the village level in which P&G is investing billions of dollars in Kenya and partnering with infrastructure in China and India.

“We do not feel that the truly innovative sustainability answers will come from within the business industry. We believe it will come from individual people, particularly those who live in what we call the Third World.

His words were well received by the students in attendance. Senior professional and technical writing major Eva McKinney, the newly-elected president of Net Impact, said “He gave an interesting and enlightening behind the scenes peek into some of the company’s practices in its efforts to enhance and improve consumers lives around the world. I’m sure many of those same consumers would probably be surprised to know about this.”

With patents on many new products, Sandbach spends most of his time in Frankfurt, Rome and Brussels. He is a director of North Tyneside Learning Trust, a new collaboration between schools, universities and employers with the aim of more formally providing coordinated inspiration and opportunity for all local school children. It is the largest learning trust in the UK.

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