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.
Chairman & CEO