Kimberly-Clark leading the way in responsibility
05 January 2015
With the majority of its products such as tissues and paper towels made from wood fibre, responsible sourcing has been central to Kimberly-Clark since its inception in 1872.
With this strong focus on sustainable forestry today, 100% of the virgin wood fibres used in Kimberly-Clark’s products are from certified sources.
"Because our products are made from wood we are aware of where we have the biggest impact," explains Guillaume Brunet, sustainability manager, Kimberly-Clark Professional EMEA. "Therefore as a company we have always known we had to work towards reducing this as much as possible. Through our sustainable policies and working with key organisations we have achieved this."
In 2012 Kimberly-Clark achieved its goal of sourcing 100% of its wood fibre, by 2015, from suppliers that have received third party certification. One certification scheme, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) awarded Kimberly-Clark the FSC 2014 Leadership Award as Forest Conservation Champions confirming the company’s leading role in responsible and ethical raw material policy.
The clear focus on responsibility has enabled Kimberly-Clark to lead the way in sustainable and responsible fibre use through its goals and actions:
- To obtain 90% of the fibre, by 2025, in its tissue products from environmentally preferred sources, including FSC-certified wood fibre, recycled fibre and sustainable alternative fibres.
- To transition at least 50% of wood fibre sourced from national forests to alternative fibre sources by 2025.
Kimberly-Clark is making strides to introduce alternative fibres such as bamboo and straw, with the goal of further reducing its impact on the world’s forests.
Today, the company uses a mix of recycled fibres and fibres from certified sources, which ensures product performance and reduced environmental impact.
"The huge progress made in this area has been achieved by working towards clear goals through practices and processes that are mindful of the world’s environmental issues, and by being transparent in our reporting and accountable for our actions," adds Guillaume Brunet.
Kimberly-Clark’s association with key stakeholders and third parties is central to its ongoing activities in responsible sourcing. Not least of these are FSC with whom the company works not just on sourcing but to continually improve its practices. In recognition, FSC also recently awarded Kimberly-Clark Australia and New Zealand the FSC Excellence Award for Supplier of the year.
Through its collaboration with FSC and other key certification schemes Kimberly-Clark will not knowingly use illegally harvested fibre or fibre from special areas such as primary tropical rainforests, endangered forests, high conservation-value forests and any areas protected by government authorities.
"With wood-based products it is difficult to compare our products from a sustainable value with alternatives," explains Guillaume Brunet. "But when you look at the whole life cycle of our products in line with our sustainability strategies including energy, recycling, waste and landfill then you see a broader perspective. Responsible sourcing is both a key strength and focus for Kimberly-Clark Professional and will continue to lead the company towards achieving its 2025 goals."