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We are an active member in the Sustainable Packaging Coalition

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.
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Million new consumers touched

We have begun tracking these numbers, and will provide an update in our next report.

Net sales from environmentally innovative products

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

Reduction in packaging environmental impact

We have reduced our overall impact by 4 percent, using 2010 as a baseline, by lightening the weight, increasing the recycled content and lowering the carbon footprint of our packaging.

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