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We find innovation inspiration everywhere. Whether we’re cycling, mountaineering or researching sustainable packaging 

Over the last 200 years, our innovators have transformed our company and revolutionised our industry for the better. But this is just the start. As we embark on our journey of rejuvenating sustainable growth, we’re more inspired than ever to think bigger, act bolder and innovative further than ever before. 

Tell us a little more about you...  

I’m Pete Phillips, Senior R&D Manager – Aircare. I’ve worked at Reckitt for seven years and am based in Hull, UK. I have a passion for sustainability, cycling and all things mountains!  

What is innovation?  

Innovation is about bringing ideas or technology together to deliver an improvement in experience. That might be making something more effective or engaging, easier to use or even, better value for money. 

Who do you believe is the greatest innovator of all time?  

Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web has to be credited with one of the greatest innovations ever to impact human society.  

What company do you admire when it comes to innovation?  

In terms of companies, there are many who have used the creation of Berners-Lee to deliver truly innovative products. One I particularly like (as a cyclist) is Zwift. 

Zwift has created an online world for cyclists to ride at home while connecting with friends, racing and encouraging engagement. Its continued innovation of technology and features has developed a huge community of riders and it became particularly relevant during COVID-19 lockdowns. 

Why does innovation matter?  

Without innovation, products and services rapidly become obsolete. By innovating, you drive the baseline expectation of consumers. 

With consumers spoilt for choice when it comes to products, how do we differentiate ours from the competition? 

The concept of the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) is super important in ensuring we stand out for the right reasons. ZMOT was introduced by Google in 2011 and refers to the moment in the buying process when the consumer researches a product prior to purchase. 

We need to ensure that at the point of sale we stand out as the best product for the consumer. This might be from a packaging or a claims stand, but it might also be that our product is more sustainable or responsibly sourced yet still as effective for the consumer. 

How are we embedding our Sustainability Ambitions in everything we do?   

I’m proud of the steps we have taken within the Air Wick R&D team.  

Our core role in research and development (R&D) is to develop better products and over the last few years, we have been proactively taking steps to improve and reduce the impact of our products. We've done this by reducing or even removing plastic, changing formulations to use less petrochemically derived ingredients and reducing the power consumption of our gadgets.   

Additionally, we’re conscious that when we use naturally derived ingredients, we must also ensure they are sourced responsibly, trying to minimise impact on biodiversity. This has led to some really empowering conversations with our supply chain partners. These conversations have helped us drive visibility of farming practices throughout the supply chain. We’re now seeing these partners executing improvements as a direct result of the questions we asked. 

How do you champion Sustainability and take action in your personal life? 

I’ve made a couple of lifestyle changes. I use the car less and cycle instead. I look for waste free solutions and am trying to find ways to source food that is farmed regeneratively.  

Small steps made on a large scale can have a big overall impact.