"We are three years into our ambitious Sustainability 2022 program, and I'm inspired by the impact we've made. Through our brand-led programs like Toilets Change Lives and No Baby Unhugged, and our leadership in creating the Alliance for Period Supplies, we're taking action on critical issues around the world," says Mike Hsu, chief executive officer, Kimberly-Clark. "We've achieved some big goals, but we know that new challenges to the environment are emerging and consumers' expectations are shifting. We must continue to leverage our legacy of innovation to come up with new solutions to meet these needs."
Kimberly-Clark's Sustainability 2022 strategy tracks its progress against five strategic sustainability pillars – Social Impact, Forests & Fiber, Waste & Recycling, Energy & Climate and Supply Chain.
Highlights of the past year include:
- Co-founded the Alliance for Period Supplies to help women and girls in need access period supplies;
- Met absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals four years early, down 27% (vs. 2005 baseline);
- Reduced use of fiber from natural forest landscapes by 30% since 2011;
- Diverted more than 21,000 metric tons of material to higher value alternatives;
- Reduced water use at its facilities in high-stress regions by 24%; and
- Introduction of alternative energy sources across six manufacturing sites, including wind, solar and cogeneration projects.
"We have long believed that setting ambitious goals and pursuing long-term change has a positive impact on our business and on the world," says Lisa Morden, vice president for Safety and Sustainability. "We met key goals this year around energy and climate well ahead of schedule, which is a testament to the teams and manufacturing leaders who rallied behind transformational changes and alternative energy."
The company's energy and climate goals were accelerated by a combination of LEAN energy, conservation, and alternative energy projects. Over the past three years, Kimberly-Clark has executed more than 400 energy conservation projects and deployed LEAN energy at 37 sites. The company implemented six alternative energy projects around biomass boilers, lower GHG emitting fuels and cogeneration. The electricity produced because of the company's virtual power purchase agreements with two wind farms offset 99% of the electricity purchased by its Kimberly-Clark Professional manufacturing sites in the United States.
"In response to meeting our energy and climate goals early, Kimberly-Clark will double our GHG reduction target from 20% to 40% reduction by 2022," adds Morden.
Partnerships also played an important role in the company's 2018 results. Kimberly-Clark's consumer and professional businesses signed on to Wrap UK's Plastics Pact, and the company joined Ocean Conservancy'sTrash Free Seas Alliance as members of the steering committee. In addition, the company continued to foster strong relationships with WWF and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and used the partnership to build consumer awareness of responsible forestry practices.