Reducing Our Packaging Impact
Packaging is integral to the quality and safety of our products, and
that integrity will not be compromised as we pursue our 2015 goal to reduce the
environmental impact of our packaging.
Defining an Intensity Metric
We employ a carbon-equivalent intensity metric to calculate packaging reductions.
The metric is defined as the total number of CO2 equivalents of packaging consumption
(including any waste or unsold product) divided by the total amount of product produced.
To calculate a package’s impact, packaging weights are converted into carbon equivalents
using externally recognized methods and conversion factors.
Sharing Best Practices
In 2011, Kimberly-Clark strengthened its innovation capabilities with the formation
of a multidisciplinary internal committee that meets monthly to promote collaboration
and share best practices. Kimberly-Clark is also an active corporate member in the
Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), a thought-leader organization that provides
context and design guidelines to inform our thinking.
2011 Packaging Impact Reduction Progress
We are capitalizing on opportunities to lighten packaging weight, increase recycled
content, remove packaging elements and shift to packaging with a lower carbon footprint.
In 2011, we neared completion of our baseline packaging data collection from suppliers
and Kimberly-Clark production facilities. We also built a framework and calculator,
currently in test phase, to help our packaging engineers, product designers and
brand owners compare packaging impacts within a common framework.
2011 packaging reduction successes included:
- Increased recycled-resin content in our flushable moist wipes tubs to 25 percent.
Virgin polymers diverted from use: approximately 226.8 metric tons (500,000 pounds).
- Reduction in U by Kotex brand tampon packaging wrapper film. Weight reduction
per wrapper: 18 percent; annual reduction in poly use: approximately 2,700 metric
tons (5.5 million pounds).
- Reduction in paper used in U by Kotex brand tampon information insert from nine
to six panels. Paper reduction: 25.6 metric tons (56,400 pounds) annually.
- Replacement of cardboard secondary packaging to poly bundles at Kimberly-Clark Europe’s
Barton Mill. Total annual CO2 reduction: 5,000 metric tons (11 million pounds).
- Replacement in packaging of Depend brand underwear 3X from corrugate to poly.
Material weight reduction per retail package: 82 percent.
- Reduction of poly bag gauge for Poise brand liners and Poise Ultra Thins
brand liners packaging. Annual poly savings: 10.8 metric tons (23,800 pounds).
- Reduction of shrink film by 15 percent in Personal Care’s rigid tub design. Annual
film savings: 6.8 metric tons (15,000 pounds).
- Introduction of renewable thermoplastic starch hybrid flexible packaging by China
Feminine Care products including Kotex brand Little Q pantiliner.
- Application of compression technology in European Kleenex brand facial tissue
packaging. Reduction in packaging: 39 percent; in distribution transport: 50 percent.
- Compacted Brazil’s Neve brand tissue product. Reduction in packaging materials
used: 13 percent; in transportation-related CO2 emissions due to reduced packaging
size: 18 percent.