Personal care giant confirms science based emissions target and vows to cut forest and water footprints by 50 per cent
The maker of Andrex, Kleenex, and Huggies has this week unveiled a wide-ranging new sustainability strategy, pledging to halve its environmental footprint by 2030.
Kimberly-Clark said its new targets would see it cut its carbon, forest, and water footprint, as well as its use of virgin fossil fuel based plastics by 50 per cent within 10 years.
The carbon emissions targets have been approved as being in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement by the independent Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
The targets provide the centrepiece of the company's annual sustainability report, which also confirmed that it has surpassed the targets set out in its 'Sustainability 2022' strategy two years early.
"This plan for 2030 is our most ambitious yet," said Tristram Wilkinson, President for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Kimberly-Clark. "We are at a watershed moment in human history when immediate steps need to be taken to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges - and recent times have reminded us how important our role in the world is."
He added that the company had made considerable progress over the past five years, cutting its emissions in the EMEA region by 17 per cent by 2015 and moving to phase out plastics from its baby wipes products and reduce packaging from its leading brands as part of its work with the UK Plastic Pact.
Other highlights from the past year include the completion of over 30 emission reduction projects that together cut carbon emissions by 7,000 tonnes a year and the phasing out of coal as a fuel following the installation of a new gas boiler at an Enstra manufacturing facility in South Africa.
The company also reported that its water footprint has fallen 21.5 per cent at water stressed sites since 2015.
And it has adopted new packaging targets to use an average of 20 per cent recycled content across all plastic packaging and to make 100 per cent of its packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
Sally Uren, chief executive at Forum for the Future, welcomed the new strategy. "There is also no doubt that we have entered a decade where action will be critical if we hope to survive and thrive through the next century and beyond," she said. "It's exciting to see such strong focus on human well-being, from a business with so many touchpoints to health. Achieving such goals while rebuilding natural systems will not be easy, but Kimberly-Clark has a strong track record on keeping its promises. I look forward to tracking their progress."
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