“100,000 marine animals and 1 million sea birds die each year from plastic. The plastic in our oceans affects us all. It enters our food chain. It reaches our plates. It’s a global problem, a human problem.”

Virginie Helias – TEDxExeter 2017

Virginie Helias

Hope in a (plastic) bottle: from beach to bathroom

Eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans every year. Virginie Helias explains how one brand whose products have been part of the problem set about making them part of the solution, collecting plastic litter from beaches and turning it into new shampoo bottles. She argues big businesses need to step up if we are to create a circular economy where nothing is wasted.

With 28 years of experience at Procter & Gamble in Brand Management and Innovation, Virginie has a broad experience across multiple categories with global to local brand management expertise across several of P&G multi-billion dollar brands (Pantene, Ariel/Tide, Pampers). She has international experience (France, UK, Switzerland and the United States).

Prior to her current position, she was the Western Europe Franchise Leader for Ariel, one of P&G largest brands, where she turned Ariel into the leader in sustainability through the launch of the highly successful “Cool Clean/Turn to 30” campaign and their most sustainable laundry product (Excel Gel).

Beyond her brand and innovation expertise, she is also recognized for her visioning, change management and leadership development skills. She is a certified coach.

In July 2011, she recommended the creation of a new position –Global Sustainability Brand Director, working across all P&G business units and regions. Her mission was to embed sustainability into the innovation, brand-building and everyday business practices at P&G. In July 2016, she was promoted to Vice President of Global Sustainability, in recognition of the work which has led to sustainability being a core business strategy, an innovation driver and a catalyst for a more resilient organisation.

Virginie lives in Geneva, Switzerland, with her husband and 3 children. She is a marathon runner.

Biography published 2017

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