Procter & Gamble (P&G) developed Science-in-the-Box (SIB; www.scienceinthebox.com) after discussions with their stakeholders as to how the consumer products company could better communicate key environmental performance and safety information to the public. A series of workshops enabled P&G to understand that consumers and other key business decision makers wanted meaningful information about the science behind P&G products. In addition, it was clear that making such information available would produce business benefits by encouraging long-term relationships with decision makers ranging from consumers and retailers to policy makers and nongovernmental organizations. These benefits were not necessarily quantifiable in the short term, but they still had to be balanced by the costs in terms of resource commitment and potential intellectual property issues. Since its inception in September 2002, SIB has successfully reached key target audiences and built improved credibility and confidence in P&G products and approaches. The website is now available in English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian and is used by consumers, journalists, teachers, scientists, and policy makers. Several user surveys carried out during the initial developmental period, together with unsolicited e-mail feedback, have demonstrated that SIB has successfully created a platform for continuous dialogue with consumers and other interested parties.
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Vol. 2 • No. 2