The firm, which owns brands such as Andrex, Kleenex and Huggies, is also looking to reach a billion people with social impact projects by 2030
Kimberly-Clark has announced it’s aiming to halve its environmental footprint by 2030 as part of its sustainability strategy over the next decade.
The move will see the US-based personal care company — which owns brands such as Andrex, Kleenex and Huggies — bring its carbon, forest and water footprint, as well as its use of virgin fossil fuel-based plastics down by 50% over the next 10 years.
It is also committed to sending zero waste to landfill across all of its operations by 2022.
In 2019, the company diverted more than 5,500 tonnes of product and packaging waste from such sites.
Kimberly-Clark’s president in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) Tristram Wilkinson said: “This plan for 2030 is our most ambitious yet.
“We are at a watershed moment in human history when immediate steps need to be taken to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges — and recent times have reminded us how important our role in the world is.”
Kimberly-Clark commits to reaching a billion people with social impact work by 2030
The new carbon footprint targets that form part of Kimberly-Clark’s 2030 strategy have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.
Formed by sustainability not-for-profit the CDP — alongside the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute, and the World Wildlife Fund — it aims to empower companies to set greenhouse gas reduction targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.
The CDP’s director of science-based targets Alberto Carrillo Pineda said: “We congratulate Kimberly-Clark on setting emissions reduction targets in line with what science says is needed to meet the Paris Agreement.
“Companies have a vital role to play in driving down global emissions and it is encouraging to see major players taking such ambitious action across their operations and supply chain.”
Kimberly-Clark has also committed to reaching a billion people with social impact work by 2030.
In 2019, the company provided access to safe and clean toilet facilities to 464,000 people through its Toilets Change Lives programme.
The scheme sees the firm donate a portion of each Andrex sale in the UK to UNICEF sanitation efforts in Angola, where 78% of the rural population has no access to a toilet.
That same year, it also organised the #SheCan campaign in Turkey through its hygiene brand Kotex to encourage more female participation in football.
This resulted in 900 women participating in a tournament to support several local Turkish women’s football clubs — while the digital #SheCan donation campaign reached more than six million people.
Sally Uren, chief executive of sustainability charity Forum for the Future, said: “It’s great to see Kimberly-Clark setting such an ambitious new social goal to 2030.
“There is also no doubt that we have entered a decade where action will be critical if we hope to survive and thrive through the next century and beyond.
“It’s exciting to see such a strong focus on human well-being, from a business with so many touchpoints to health.
“Achieving such goals while rebuilding natural systems will not be easy, but Kimberly-Clark has a strong track record on keeping its promises.”
Kimberly-Clark to make 100% of its packaging from reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025
Kimberly-Clark has also committed to making 100% of its packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.
As part of this work, the company launched the Huggies Tiniest Footprint initiative in the UK — a scheme set up to phase out plastic from its baby wipes line by 2025 and make the brand’s packaging recyclable.
In 2019, 15 tonnes of plastic were removed from Huggies Extra Care — with it also reformulating selected packaging, which will save 43 tonnes of plastic annually.
Fellow Kimberly-Clark brand Andrex launched a new range of packaging made from 30% recycled content in June 2020, which it says will remove 481 tonnes of virgin plastic from being used over the next 12 months.
Its wet wipe Washlets product also recently became the first major UK range to receive a “Fine to Flush” certification, meaning it can pass through and breakdown in the country’s sewage system.
In July 2020, tissue brand Kleenex removed the plastic opening on all its boxes, taking 82 tonnes of plastic from the supply chain.
Kimberly-Clark is also a member of the UK Plastics Pact, which aims to tackle the plastic waste problem by bringing together industry partners, non-governmental organisations and the government.
Wilkinson said: “All our brands are accelerating their efforts, for example, Andrex and Kleenex have recently announced significant progress on packaging.
“This is just one element of a much wider picture of commitment and ambition for industry change.
“Our mission is to ‘Make Lives Better’ and that can only be done by pushing ourselves to take the action that meet the expectations of our consumers and communities.”