Posted June 6, 2023

Kimberly-Clark reports sustainability progress

According to its latest annual sustainability report, Kimberly-Clark achieved by year-end 2022 an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 42% and a 9.4% energy efficiency improvement versus the 2015 baseline. The report provided an update on the company's progress toward its 2030 sustainability strategy and goals.

The company says its goals address the social and environmental challenges of the next decade with a mission of improving the lives and well-being of 1 billion people in underserved and vulnerable communities around the world – while safeguarding natural systems and reducing the company's environmental footprint by 50%  in key areas, including plastics, forests, water and climate.

"I'm proud of what our teams around the world have accomplished in the last year and to be part of a company that has never wavered in providing care for our people, our communities and our planet since it was founded 150 years ago," said Mike Hsu, chairman and CEO at Kimberly-Clark. "Our 2030 sustainability goals are critical to our purpose of Better Care for a Better World, and our sights are set on achieving them."

As Kimberly-Clark looks to the next 150 years, the company says it is committed to building on its legacy and providing care with the intention to be even better in the areas that deliver value to its stakeholders. It states it is delivering better products through innovation and the development of more sustainable solutions; supporting a better planet by being stewards of the climate and natural ecosystems; fostering a better workplace by building a culture of integrity and belonging through its commitment to inclusion, equity, diversity, well-being and human rights; and contributing to a better society by partnering with changemakers to help uplift communities.

Key highlights of the company's 2022 results include:

Better Products: Kimberly-Clark continued to advance more sustainable solutions, including expanding its range of biodegradable baby wipes made with plant-based fibers and investing in reusable period and incontinence products. In addition, the company reached 5.1% of recycled content in its plastic packaging, moving Kimberly-Clark closer to its 20% recycled content goal for 2025.

Better Planet: In addition to GHG reductions, the company continued to address water scarcity in water-stressed locations, achieving a 42.1% reduction in consumption against its 2015 baseline.

Last year, more than 160 energy conservation initiatives and process and building efficiency improvements were deployed at the company's manufacturing sites around the world, yielding approximately 36,000 MTCO2e in emissions reductions. Executed by local engineering and process teams, these projects included lighting systems retrofits, installation of heat recovery systems and higher-efficiency electrical motors, control and distribution equipment upgrades, and optimization of compressed air systems, vacuum systems, chillers, and HVAC systems.

Better Workplace: Leading with inclusion, Kimberly-Clark is building an organization that leverages its diversity as a competitive advantage. The company is a global organization that mirrors the consumers it serves around the world.

Board of Directors – Six of 12 directors are women, and four are ethnically diverse.

Executive Leadership Team – 31% are women, and 54% are people of color.

Better Society: Kimberly-Clark's essential and well-known brands bring its purpose to life through social impact programs designed to enhance the lives of its consumers and communities. The company's brand-led partnerships with hospitals, educational organizations and nonprofits have helped to advance the well-being of 88.9 million people cumulatively since 2015.

This includes Huggies Más Abrazos, an educational platform that holds new parents' and caregivers' hands as they navigate the unknown, from the first steps of pregnancy through the first years of their child's life. Through free articles, podcasts and videos, Más Abrazos provides answers about pregnancy, the birthing process, feeding, attachment, child development, health and wellness, and a host of other topics. Expanded to its current robust format in 2022, the platform has reached more than 4.6 million people throughout Latin America.

"We're committed to making lives better while safeguarding the world's natural ecosystems and biodiversity. Kimberly-Clark's purpose aligns our business motivations with our sustainability vision – it's how we show up every day and do what's right for both people and planet," said Lisa Morden, vice president of Safety, Sustainability and Occupational Health at Kimberly-Clark. "We are proud to partner with global NGOs and international organizations such as World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Plan International, WaterAid and UNICEF to strengthen communities by supporting sustainable practices and reducing barriers that limit accessibility to proper health, hygiene, education and sanitation."

This year marks 23 years of partnership between Kimberly-Clark, the Kimberly-Clark Foundation and UNICEF. In 2022, Kimberly-Clark expanded its partnership to support UNICEF's newborn health and early childhood development program in China, with a goal to reach more than 14 million newborns, children, and caregivers. The program will support initiatives to improve maternal and child health and development outcomes by partnering with national health agencies to establish new centers of excellence to train health providers in labor and delivery care, support early childhood development services, enhance trainings through new virtual platforms, and create a comprehensive capacity building strategy.

"Our partnership has uplifted millions of lives as we support maternal and child health, as well as empower women and girls with critically important menstrual hygiene education," said Michael J. Nyenhuis, president and CEO, UNICEF USA. "Kimberly-Clark shares our vision for a world where every child has an opportunity to thrive, and the company continues to be an important partner as UNICEF drives systems change around the globe – positively impacting generations to come."

Kimberly-Clark said its annual sustainability report and accompanying disclosures demonstrate the company's progress through stories that highlight its work around the world as well as key data and metrics prepared with reference to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) disclosures. The reporting covers the time frame of Jan. 1, 2022 through Dec. 31, 2022.