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Tom Falk
Chairman & CEO
Sustainability 2015 reflects the full circle of our social responsibilities

A Letter From Our CEO

At Kimberly-Clark, our business success entails providing people with the essentials for a better life while conserving the natural resources on which we all depend.

Practicing sustainability is part of the work we do every day. A key component of our Global Business Plan calls for increasing the positive impact of our sustainability efforts. That's why in 2011, we launched Sustainability 2015, the most comprehensive sustainability strategy in our company's history. Sustainability 2015 reflects the full circle of our social responsibilities—to contribute more to the environmental, social and economic success in the communities we operate in around the world.

A major growth area of our Global Business Plan is in emerging markets, with a focus on Latin America, Russia and China. In 2011, Kimberly-Clark International achieved net sales growth of 13 percent, and for the first time, our Personal Care business in Kimberly-Clark International is larger than in North America. As a global company, we must widen our circle of influence in these emerging markets and strengthen our engagement with stakeholders to understand how we can best serve the essential needs of people through our products and our social and environmental actions.

During 2011, we built a solid foundation that has set the stage for ongoing sustainability success with our Sustainability 2015 strategy. We're making strides in our talent strategy to become a more performance-driven culture by empowering our people. We're working on a new social responsibility strategy that will help us to continue to support communities in which we do business, while using our brands to improve lives and communities around the globe.

Our focused approach to innovation will help reduce the environmental impact of our products throughout their lifecycles and provide social benefits to our customers. We finalized a new Social Compliance Policy and audit program for rollout in 2012. This program will provide greater confidence that our supply chain operates with values similar to Kimberly-Clark's and seeks to ensure that we honor the principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).

Successes in 2011

As we look back on 2011, we are proud of our achievements:

  • We conducted social initiatives in 23 countries, including cash and product donations totaling more than $32 million
  • More than 11,000 employees committed to making positive environmental changes in their lives through our Small Steps for Sustainability program. We also recognized significant sustainability accomplishments by our employees with the presentation of our inaugural Crystal Tree Awards.
  • Kimberly-Clark and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced a global agreement with WWF's Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN)
  • We initiated water-replenishment projects in India, Israel, Colombia and Spain, with a total anticipated return to communities of 205 million gallons
  • We became the first U.S. branded consumer tissue maker to offer tissue products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to North American consumers, while Kimberly-Clark Professional expanded its FSC certification to more than 95 percent of its tissue and towel lines in North America. We also expanded FSC certification on tissue products in China, Taiwan and Australia.
  • Kimberly-Clark's Huggies brand team expanded its diaper composting initiatives through our partnership with Envirocomp. Plans are in place to open a second Kimberly-Clark-sponsored recycling plant in New Zealand in 2012, and we're exploring locations for additional international plants.

While we are proud of our 2011 achievements, we fell short in reaching our water-reduction targets, and we continue to be challenged in finding alternatives to landfill for the residue from deinked wastepaper at some of our tissue mills.

Our Sustainability 2015 strategy gives us confidence to look to the future with optimism. And as we stretch to be increasingly sustainable in environmental matters, with employee relations and in our supply chain, we know there are formidable challenges ahead. However, the passion and dedication of our business teams will carry us forward, because we believe sustainability creates value for all—our business, our investors and our communities—today and for generations to come.

Tom Faulk, Chairman and CEO, Kimberly-Clark
Tom Falk
Chairman & CEO

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Workplace fatalities

While we had zero fatalities in both 2010 and 2011, unfortunately there was a recent death at a Kimberly-Clark de Mexico facility in 2012.

Fiber from certified suppliers

Nearly 100 percent of our fiber is sourced from third-party-certified suppliers such as the Forest Stewardship Council.

Net sales from environmentally innovative products

Approximately 13 percent of our net sales in 2011 came from environmentally innovative products.

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