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Kimberly-Clark reports continued progress toward sustainability

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Kimberly-Clark reports continued progress toward sustainability

May 20, 2010 - 04:45
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DALLAS, May 20, 2010 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) -Kimberly-Clark Corporation in 2009 continued to make progress toward its economic, environmental and social responsibility commitments according to its seventh annual sustainability report, Choices for a Sustainable Future. The report was recently issued and highlights the company's numerous achievements such as improving energy efficiency by 3.7 percent since 2005, reducing water usage by 13 million cubic meters, contributing $22.7 million to charitable causes worldwide and forming new relationships with environmental groups such as Greenpeace.

"Our progress in 2009 reflects the hard work of our employees worldwide in helping to integrate sustainable business practices into everything we do," said Suhas Apte, vice president of global sustainability at Kimberly-Clark. "While we are proud of our efforts, we realize that sustainability is an area in which our work will never be done. Our latest report shares our accomplishments of the past year and sets the stage for our future initiatives that are in the works for 2010."

Among its sustainability achievements in 2009, Kimberly-Clark:

  • Strengthened environmental protection through its fiber procurement practices;
  • Achieved a 3.7 percent improvement in energy efficiency since 2005, saving enough energy to power approximately 125,000 houses for one year;
  • Reduced water usage by 13 million cubic meters, saving enough water to fill more than 5,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools;
  • Introduced new, innovative products such as Scott Naturals consumer tissue products and Huggies Pure & Natural diapers that combine high performance and exceptional quality with environmental benefits;
  • Launched the Reduce Today, Respect Tomorrow global marketing campaign within its Kimberly-Clark Professional business, emphasizing how reducing the environmental impact at every stage of a product's lifecycle has a more powerful, far-reaching effect beyond recycling;
  • Supported social issues around the world, including the ongoing funding of UNICEF's Urban Platform Initiative in Brazil, which has helped more than 1.1 million children and their families; and
  • Contributed $22.7 million in cash and product donations for charitable causes worldwide.

As part of the sourcing standards it developed with Greenpeace in August 2009, Kimberly-Clark sought to use 40 percent of either recycled fiber or FSC-certified fiber in all of its North American tissue products by the end of 2011. Due to unusually favorable fiber sourcing conditions and additional FSC-certified fiber that became available in 2009, Kimberly-Clark surpassed this goal two years ahead of schedule with a total combined usage of 43.6 percent.

"We commend Kimberly-Clark for their tremendous efforts in surpassing this goal and appreciate their collaborative relationship," said Scott Paul, forest campaign director at Greenpeace USA. "The company's commitment to sustainable forest management is a challenge to competitors worldwide and we remain committed to working with them to achieve their sustainability objectives."

Apte continued: "While we're extremely pleased with these fiber procurement results, maintaining these targets over the next few years depends on the availability of FSC-certified fiber and waste paper, and future market conditions. We remain committed to achieving these goals as best we can as part of our collaboration with Greenpeace."

Kimberly-Clark's commitment to sustainability has enabled it to lead the personal products category in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for five consecutive years. The company has ranked in the top one percent of the more than 4,000 companies analyzed by GovernanceMetrics International for its corporate governance standards and has received sustained recognition from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In particular, the EPA has honored Kimberly-Clark with the Energy Star Partner of the Year award for the second consecutive year, SmartWay Transportation Excellence award for the third consecutive year and it ranked first on the agency's On-Site Power Users list.

The full report, along with the 2009 Sustainability Report Summary and supplemental video featuring comments from Chairman and CEO Tom Falk, can be accessed online at:

Additionally, an external assessment of the sustainability report was conducted by the independent members of Kimberly-Clark's Sustainability Advisory Board. Established in 2007, this board advises the company on sustainability issues and provides an outside view of K-C's sustainability programs. The external assessment along with more information about Kimberly-Clark's sustainability advisory board can be accessed through the sustainability report.

About Kimberly-Clark

Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries. Every day, 1.3 billion people - nearly a quarter of the world's population - trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds No. 1 or No. 2 share positions in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company's 138-year history of innovation, visit