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Kimberly-Clark Improves on Waste, Slides on Energy

Kimberly-Clark made progress on its efforts to reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfills per metric ton of production, but increased the amount of energy it used per metric ton, according to its 2009 corporate sustainability report.

According to figures in the report, Kimberly-Clark sent 19.8 percent of its waste to landfills last year, an improvement from 22.0 percent the year before but significantly above a 16 percent baseline of 2006.

Water efficiency also improved to 43.4 cubic meters per metric ton of production from 45.4 in 2008. Meanwhile, greenhouse gas emissions declined to 5.6 million metric tons from 5.9 million the year before.

The company also managed to surpass its goal for fiber sourcing. In cooperation with Greenpeace, the company had aimed to source 40 percent of its North American tissue products to either recycled or FSC-certified fiber by 2011. An improvement in fiber sourcing conditions and increase in available FSC-certified fiber allowed the company to reach a total combined usage of 43.6 percent last year. (see chart below)

However, overall energy efficiency suffered. The company reported it used 15.6 million BTUs per metric ton of production, up from 14.8 million the prior year and above its goal of 14.6 million for the year, a phenomenon the company attributed to its product mix.

Earlier this year, Kimberly-Clark was deemed the fifth best corporate citizen by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. It was also one of the largest purchases of green power last year.

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