Managing Our Energy Use
Energy is a critical, strategic cost component for Kimberly-Clark, influencing the price of raw materials, manufacturing and distribution.
In addition to reducing absolute GHG emissions by 5 percent, our Sustainability 2015 energy efficiency goal is that Kimberly-Clark manufacturing facilities meet zero percent deviation from best-in-class energy targets. The Global Energy Solutions Team (GEST) undertakes Energy Performance Reviews (EPRs) at our facilities to support the identification and execution of opportunities to improve our energy efficiency. In 2011, 30 EPRs were completed across our manufacturing sites, and more than 50 process improvement studies on tissue production assets and reviews of boiler plants and utility operations were conducted. At the end of 2011, 50 percent of our manufacturing sites had achieved the energy efficiency target goal. To fully meet this challenge, we are investing capital, introducing new technologies and, most importantly, harnessing the creativity of our employees to use less energy.
Sharing Best Practices
Kimberly-Clark's Energy Best Practices and Energy Management System scorecard were updated in 2011 using the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ENERGY STAR facilities management system tool. Employing this and other analytical tools, GEST identifies the global facilities with the greatest energy and GHG emission savings potential and helps develop plans to achieve defined energy targets. The results are shared, via teleconferencing and webinars, with energy champions at Kimberly-Clark mills worldwide, where energy conservation best practices are implemented.
We are also involved in the EPA's SmartWay Transportation Partnership, a program that helps freight companies improve fuel efficiency, increase environmental performance, and increase supply chain sustainability. Since 2006, we have engaged our internal supply chain partners and carriers to reduce CO2e emissions and save fuel. Since 2006, together we have reduced 1.5 million metric tons of CO2e and saved 134 million gallons (507 million liters) of diesel fuel.
2011 Progress in Energy Efficiency
The energy use intensity of Kimberly-Clark manufacturing facilities worldwide increased 2.5 percent, from 15.19 mmbtu/mt in 2010 to 15.56 mmbtu/mt in 2011. These results were negatively affected by the 5.2 percent decrease in worldwide production and structural asset changes as a result of the 2011 pulp and tissue restructuring action that contributed to operation inefficiencies at affected sites.
Energy savings at our facilities include:
Global Initiative to Save Energy
Yankee dryers are used on many Kimberly-Clark tissue machines to remove water in the final step of the tissue manufacturing process. This is an energy intensive part of the tissue manufacturing process and has a large impact on manufacturing costs. In 2009, Kimberly-Clark installed insulation panels on the dryers at our Koblenz and Reisholz mills, in Germany, to reduce energy loss. The project was so successful that we expanded the insulation program to 26 additional tissue machines globally. In 2011, the modifications yielded the following results:
- An estimated reduction of 10,290 metric tons of CO2e emissions
- A 5 percent average reduction in Yankee Dryer steam usage on each tissue machine
Energy Cuts in Malaysia
The Family Care Production Facility at Kluang, in Johor, Malaysia, manufactures a range of paper products, including Kleenex brand facial tissues and Scott brand paper towels. Aiming to reduce energy consumption and improve visibility within the plant, in 2011 the company replaced the metal halide lighting fixtures on the manufacturing floor with Light Emitting Diode (LED) High Bays lighting fixtures. The Kluang team determined that the product offered the best combination of efficiency, payback period and lifespan. The 150-watt LED High Bays have resulted in a 60 percent reduction—208,500 Kwh of electricity—in annual lighting energy consumption in 2011. The Kluang Mill continues to explore other uses for this energy-saving lighting technology.
The results of the Kluang lighting initiative and other efficiency projects are captured in Kimberly-Clark's Energy Best Practices Scorecard. The scorecard serves as a reference tool to identify potential common opportunities for Kimberly-Clark manufacturing facilities, such as in lighting, steam and compressed air. Projects and best practices are also shared across the organization through articles posted on the intranet site, SharePoint, global Web seminars, formal presentations and energy performance reviews.
Australia Capital Investments
In 2011, Kimberly-Clark announced a $65 million reinvestment in its Australian manufacturing facilities. Of this, $6.5 million has been directed to the Albury plant to expand its capability to make innovative products and reduce carbon emissions. The Millicent Mill, in South Australia, which produces Kleenex brand tissue products, is receiving $30 million to finance the installation of a combined heat and power generation project. When complete in 2013, these investments will result in annual CO2e reductions of approximately 90,000 metric tons, the equivalent of removing 32,000 small cars from the road.