Kimberly-Clark plans to double its greenhouse gas reduction target to 40% by 2022. The new goal was created due to the fact that the company exceeded its original 20% reduction in 2018, four years ahead of schedule: Kimberly-Clark decreased GHG emissions by 27% in 2018. The company says it achieved its original GHG reduction target ahead of schedule by transforming energy management at its facilities and accelerating the use of alternative energy, including renewable wind power.
Kimberly-Clark’s VP for safety and sustainability, Lisa Morden, attributes the milestone to the “teams and manufacturing leaders who rallied behind transformational changes and alternative energy.”
The company’s energy and climate goals were accelerated by a combination of LEAN energy, conservation, and alternative energy projects, Kimberly-Clark says. Over the past three years, the company executed more than 400 energy conservation projects and deployed LEAN energy at 37 sites.
The company implemented six alternative energy projects around biomass boilers, lower GHG emitting fuels and cogeneration. The electricity produced because of the company’s Virtual Power Purchase Agreements with two wind farms offset 99% of the electricity purchased by its Kimberly-Clark Professional manufacturing sites in the US.
Kimberly-Clark also says it has reduced the use of fiber from natural forest landscapes by 30% since 2011, diverted more than 21,000 metric tons of material to “higher value alternatives,” reduced water use at facilities in high-stress regions by 24%, and introduced alternative energy sources across six manufacturing sites.
Partnerships played an important role in its 2018 results, the company says. Kimberly-Clark’s consumer and professional businesses signed on to Wrap UK’s Plastics Pact, and the company joined Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance as members of the steering committee. In addition, the company continued to foster strong relationships with WWF and the Forest Stewardship Council, and used the partnership to build consumer awareness of responsible forestry practices.
The CPG giant’s chief executive officer, Mike Hsu, says that despite achieving “some big goals,” the company is aware that new challenges to the environment are emerging, and that consumer expectations are shifting. Kimberly-Clark must continue to “come up with new solutions to meet these needs,” he says.