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We collaborate with TerraCycle to collect and upcycle diaper packaging

Thinking Differently About Waste

Kimberly-Clark is committed to taking responsibility for its products throughout their lifecycles, and in 2011, we continued to pioneer solutions to capture waste after our products are used by our customers and consumers.

Kimberly-Clark continues to expand its diaper composting initiatives. In 2010, Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies brand team partnered with Envirocomp Ltd. to offer a first-of-its-kind composting service in Christchurch, New Zealand. To respond to the enthusiastic uptake by families and commercial businesses, including preschools and senior care facilities, Envirocomp is on track to open a second Kimberly-Clark–sponsored recycling plant in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, in May 2012. In 2011, Kimberly-Clark announced that its partnership with Envirocomp is going global. Envirocomp secured the global rights for first refusal to collect and compost Kimberly-Clark diapers and is exploring locations for additional international plants.

In 2011, our Kimberly-Clark Professional business joined forces with TerraCycle, a leading "upcycling" company, to launch a U.S.-wide program for the collection and recycling of clean room protective apparel at pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. Through the collaboration, Kimberly-Clark Professional has positioned itself among the first to implement large-scale recycling programs for nontraditional waste streams in North America. TerraCycle collects, converts and resells waste material as either bulk plastics or eco-friendly consumer products. Kimberly-Clark’s bar code system allows us to track waste reduction by facility. The recycling program further extends our sustainability initiatives by saving time, material and money.

Our Huggies brand also collaborates with TerraCycle to collect and upcycle diaper packaging through its Huggies Brand Brigade program in the U.S. The Huggies brand sponsors the installation of TerraCycle collection bins in schools and other community locations. The bins receive a variety of packaging, including that of Huggies brand diapers, whose boxes and plastic wraps are labeled to alert consumers to this recycling option. The program was introduced in 2010 but saw a significant increase in participation in 2011, with more than 6,500 packages collected compared with about 1,700 packages in 2010.

In Costa Rica, Kimberly-Clark Professional worked with our larger customers to pilot a collection and recycling program for waste paper towels, which provide an excellent fiber stream for new towels. This is a win-win strategy because the customer does not have to pay for the disposal of those fibers, and Kimberly-Clark can purchase this raw material at a lower cost for use in its production process.

In Australia, Kimberly-Clark Health Care offers a new recycling program to collect, recycle and recover Kimguard brand Sterile Wrap and One-Step brand Sterile Wrap from Australian hospitals. A joint initiative with SITA-MediCollect, a specialized clinical waste business, the program offers a one-stop solution for the collection, transportation and reprocessing of the wrap in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Our Global Nonwoven division served on the board of the Health Care Plastics Recycling Council and supported the creation of guidelines for the development of recyclable medical-care products.

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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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