Kimberly-Clark has announced its Sustainability 2015 goals, which it says is the company’s most ambitious and comprehensive sustainability strategy to date. Sustainability 2015 engages K-C’s global businesses, brands, and employees and is built on a framework of People, Planet and Products. The announcement was made from the Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) annual meeting in Washington, DC, an invitation-only membership organization for Fortune 500 companies that demonstrate a serious commitment to sustainability as a strategic business issue.
K-C first set environmental improvement goals with a five-year time horizon in 1994 (VISION 2000 program), and the company says it has been raising the bar on environmental goals every five years. These programs were primarily focused on environmental performance at K-C’s operations. The framework of People, Planet and Products now expands that focus and integrates elements that will sustain and build healthy working environments; develop programs to address broader global commitments such as the United Nations Millennium Development goals; innovate products and business models to reach new consumers globally; focus the company’s social programs on global issues and in K-C communities; and implement programs to reduce the company’s environmental footprint (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions, water, and waste).
“Kimberly-Clark’s Sustainability 2015 is a holistic way of weaving sustainable business practice and mindset into everything we do as an integral component of our Global Business Plan,” says Suhas Apte, vice president, Global Sustainability. “Sustainability 2015 allows opportunities for all global employees and businesses within the company to take an active role to achieve Kimberly-Clark’s vision of leading the world in essentials for a better life. “
Sustainability 2015 includes clear metrics under each pillar that the company will measure and track progress. These include:
• Zero workplace fatalities
• Socially focused programs in all K-C communities
• 100% compliance to K-C social standards for contract manufacturers and top-tier suppliers
• 25% reduction in water use and maintain quality of discharge
• 100% certified fiber
• 5% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
• Zero manufacturing waste to landfill
• 250 million new consumers touched
• 25% of 2015 net sales from environmentally innovative products
• 20% reduction in packaging environmental impact
“In addition to the Sustainability 2015 goals, Kimberly-Clark is establishing global focus areas to ensure long-term success and access to essential resources for our businesses and our communities around the world for generations to come,” Apte says. Examples of existing K-C programs consistent with these focus areas include the Huggies brand Every Little Bottom program that donates disposable diapers to diaper and food banks in North America, and Kimberly-Clark Professional’s Reduce Today, Respect Tomorrow program that adopts a holistic product life-cycle approach by focusing on reducing consumption in addition to using recycled production materials.
“We believe our Sustainability 2015 goals and focus areas will continue to be a point of differentiation for Kimberly-Clark and help deliver tangible value in social, environmental, and financial benefits for our businesses and our planet,” Apte says.