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Marketing and Comms
Kimberly-Clark Tackles Deforestation, Lab Waste with New Partnerships

Putting its Sustainability 2022 strategy into action, Kimberly-Clark has ramped up its relationship with environmental NGO World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with the launch of its new "♥ YOUR PLANET" ("HEART YOUR PLANET") campaign. Designed to encourage consumers to choose products made with fiber from responsibly managed forests, the campaign will display WWF’s logo on Kimberly-Clark paper towel, facial tissue and toilet paper products sold in North America.

The WWF logo will appear on the company’s Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified products across its Kleenex, Scott, Viva and Cottonelle brands. The logo will begin integrated into packaging starting this month, starting with Scott paper towels. "♥ YOUR PLANET" is part of a three-year agreement and collaboration between the two organizations and builds on an existing eight-year partnership.

“Put simply, Kimberly-Clark cares. We care about our people, our communities and the future of our planet. We are also very proud that our leadership has moved other manufacturers in our industry toward higher levels of certification,” said Jay Gottleib, President of Family Care for Kimberly-Clark North America.

“We were the first U.S. tissue company to bring FSC certified tissue products to market and the first U.S. tissue company to have 100 percent of our suppliers certified as providing fiber from responsibly managed sources. Today, we will be the first U.S. tissue company to partner with WWF through an on-pack campaign across our well-recognized brands, to help drive even more awareness among consumers of the importance of choosing responsibly sourced tissue products by looking for FSC certification.”

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The partnership will also see Kimberly-Clark provide $4 million to support WWF’s efforts to protect forests and other critical ecosystems.

“As a leading participant in WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network since 2009, Kimberly-Clark has a long-standing commitment to source its fiber from responsibly managed forests,” said Kerry Cesareo, VP for Forests at WWF. “Taking these commitments a step further, Kimberly-Clark will work with WWF to bring FSC to the everyday consumer, driving awareness and inspiring action for forest conservation that can yield huge benefits for our planet.”

Kimberly-Clark started requiring third-party fiber certification for companies in its supply chain in 2003. Three years later, it began developing a closer relationship with FSC. WWF entered into the equation shortly thereafter when Kimberly-Clark joined the organization’s Global Forest & Trade Network.

“Across a wide range of products and countries, Kimberly-Clark has demonstrated an enduring commitment to the Forest Stewardship Council. Globally, this is reflected in their growing use of FSC, from seven percent of their virgin fiber in 2006 to more than 75 percent in 2015. Today their commitment extends beyond responsible sourcing to the education of their consumers about the importance of forest conservation. We applaud the new partnership with WWF, especially its focus on raising consumer awareness of FSC certification and its critical contribution to the health of forests in the U.S. and around the world,” said Corey Brinkema, President of the Forest Stewardship Council.

This new collaboration is an important component of the personal care company’s sustainability strategy. In addition to committing to reduce the impact of its products on forests through innovation, the strategy seeks to improve social and environmental impacts across the value chain, expand its zero-waste and recycling performance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent over 2005 levels.

Meanwhile, sciences company Cell Signaling Technology (CST) is celebrating a circular victory made possible by Kimberly-Clark’s RightCycle Program, the first large-scale recycling program for non-hazardous lab, cleanroom and industrial waste.

Since 2014, RightCycle has enabled CST to divert 4,400 pounds of gloves from landfill to be recycled and turned into raw materials that are used to make flowerpots, lawn furniture, shelving and a range of other products.

“Reducing our environmental footprint has long been a core company value,” said Elias Witman, Sustainability Coordinator for CST. “So finding a way to reduce the volume of glove waste was an important goal for us.”

“The RightCycle Program is highly visible and practical. People see it and want to participate. Programs like this can help shape a culture of sustainability in the lab and yield positive impacts for the planet.”

The program has been integrated into the everyday routine of CST employees, with visible recycling boxes with signage explaining how the gloves recycling program works present in CST’s general use labs. Employees are also introduced to the program during new employee training, helping make participation second nature. The move has ultimately allowed CST to reduce the costs of trash removal and move closer toward its goal of zero waste to landfill.

“We created the RightCycle Program because we recognized that our pharmaceutical and university customers wanted to reduce landfill waste and single-use gloves made up a significant portion of that waste,” said Randy Kates, Director of the Kimberly-Clark Professional Global Scientific Business. “So we developed a recycling solution that helps them achieve their sustainability goals, while positively engaging their employees in the process.”


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