Kimberly-Clark Aims for 100% Natural Forest-Free Products.

Aiming for Natural Forest-Free Products

Kimberly-Clark Corporation has released its annual sustainability report, showcasing significant strides toward its 2030 sustainability goals and introducing an ambitious new target to be 100% Natural forest-free. This means that by 2030, all the wood-based materials used in our products will come from sources that do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation. This report highlights the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation in sustainable product development.

Accelerating Sustainable Practices

Kimberly-Clark, known for its iconic brands such as Huggies®, Kleenex®, Kotex®, and Cottonelle®, has made substantial investments over the past decade to develop more sustainable products. This commitment is part of the company’s broader innovation strategy, which aims to deliver products with enhanced consumer benefits while reducing its environmental impact.

“Sustainability is woven into the fabric of our 152-year-old company’s innovation strategy and purpose, serving as a guiding principle across every facet of our operations,” said Mike Hsu, Chairman and CEO at Kimberly-Clark. “I am proud of our team’s commitment to our purpose of Better Care for a Better World, focusing on where we believe we can make the biggest impact.”

Major Achievements in 2023

  • Water Footprint and Renewable Energy:  

In 2023, Kimberly-Clark not only surpassed its 2030 water footprint target but also significantly enhanced its use of alternative energy sources. The company’s new virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with an onshore wind farm in Scotland and several renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) are tangible steps toward the company’s carbon footprint and promoting clean energy, instilling hope for a greener future.

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Energy Efficiency:  

Kimberly-Clark achieved a 40.9% reduction in operational greenhouse gas emissions towards its goal of a 50% reduction by 2030. These emissions, known as Scope 1 and 2, are direct and indirect emissions from the company’s operations, including the use of fossil fuels and electricity. Additionally, the company reported a 10.4% improvement in energy efficiency over its 2015 baseline, demonstrating its proactive approach to environmental management.

  • Sustainable Products:  

The company continued to innovate with sustainable solutions, introducing the first-ever Kotex® paper pouch, a packaging alternative that reduces plastic waste, and launching reusable menstrual and incontinence products in various markets. These reusable products are designed to reduce single-use waste and promote a more sustainable approach to personal care. Kimberly-Clark also prioritized the procurement of fibers from sustainably managed forests and invested in alternative fiber solutions, reducing its plastics footprint by 16.4% towards its goal of a 50% reduction by 2030.

Commitment toKimberly-Clark’sKimberly-Clark’s social impact programs, which include initiatives such as our ‘Toilet Change Lives’ program and ‘Huggies® No Baby Unhugged’ campaign and collaborations with global and local NGOs, have positively affected communities worldwide. In 2023, the company estimates its brand programs, combined with global and local partnerships, impacted 101 million people. These efforts included empowering women and girls, enhancing maternal and child health, and improving access to safe water and sanitation.

“Kimberly-Clark is a longstanding partner, and with their continued commitment, UNICEF can reach vulnerable children and communities with the resources needed to survive and thrive,” said Michael J. Nyenhuis, President and CEO of UNICEF USA.

Enhancing Workplace Culture

Kimberly-Clark has also invested in cultivating a supportive and inclusive workplace culture.3 The company’s executive leadership team hosted sessions with top business unit and functional leaders globally to promote performance-driven leadership qualities such as presence, courage, candor, and transparency. This initiative aims to foster a more engaged and high-performing workforce, where everyone feels valued and included, regardless of their background or identity.

The company also strengthened its human rights due diligence and supplier engagement processes. This includes enhancing risk segmentation, which involves identifying and prioritizing suppliers based on their potential impact on human rights, monitoring tools, and supply chain mapping. By connecting suppliers with resources and experts, Kimberly-Clark aims to improve human rights performance across its supply chain. These efforts are part of our ongoing commitment to ethical supply chain management and ensuring that our products are made under fair and safe conditions.

New Leadership in Sustainability

To further drive its sustainability agenda, Kimberly-Clark appointed Lisa Morden as its Chief Sustainability Officer. Formerly Vice President of Safety, Sustainability, and Occupational Health, Morden brings extensive experience and a strong commitment to the company’s sustainability initiatives.

“We are proud of our progress, and in 2023, we continued to address challenges associated with single-use plastics, carbon emissions, and water use in our operations and value chain. This includes not only the water we use in our manufacturing process” but also the “water used to produce the raw materials for our products. We recognize that challenges and opportunities are still ahead and remain “dedicated to a sustainable future for all,” said Morden.

Future Outlook

Kimberly-Clark’s sustainability report and accompanying disclosures highlight the company’s global efforts and critical data and metrics prepared in compliance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) disclosures. The report underscores Kimberly-Clark’s commitment to sustainability and transparency by covering the timeframe for frKimberly-Clark’s23 through December 31, 2023.

As the company continues to innovate and invest in sustainable practices, its progress towards the 2030 goals is a benchmark for the industry. By prioritizing environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and inclusive workplace culture, Kimberly-Clark is paving the way for a more sustainable future.

For more in-depth analysis and inspiring climate news, click here.

Image Courtesy | Kimberly-Clark

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