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Ethical and sustainability efforts lead to multiple awards

Published 29th October, 2012 by Neil Nixon

Ethical and sustainability efforts lead to multiple awards

Kimberly-Clark Professional is celebrating after parent company Kimberly-Clark won a host of awards acknowledging its commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices. The company has received the 2012 Circle of Excellence award from the Distribution Business Management Association (DBMA), a US-based business and academic forum. The award was given for Kimberly-Clark's leadership in sustainability and environmentally responsible supply chain management, as demonstrated by its Sustainability 2015 strategy.

This strategy focuses on three pillars:

• People - ensuring Kimberly-Clark’s business practices are beneficial to employees and the communities where it operates and markets its products.
• Planet - using sustainable environmental practices to ensure Kimberly-Clark’s ability to grow under constrained global resources.
• Products - innovating products and business models to reach emerging customers.

DBMA executive director, Amy Thorn, said: “What Kimberly-Clark has done and is committed to do is really quite impressive. The multi-faceted 'People, Planet and Products' framework of Kimberly-Clark's Sustainability 2015 initiative illustrates its continued commitment to responsible business practices and policies and has earned it this year's Circle of Excellence Award.”

Meanwhile, Kimberly-Clark has also been recognised by the Ethisphere Institute, the New York-based business ethics think-tank, as one of the world's most ethical companies in 2012. In compiling the list, Ethisphere reviewed hundreds of companies through in-depth research and multi-step analysis. The methodology for the rankings includes evaluating investment in innovation and sustainable business practices and looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship.

Alex Brigham, executive director of the Ethisphere Institute, said: "A strong ethical foundation is a competitive advantage, and Kimberly-Clark recognises the important role corporate responsibility plays in improving its bottom line. As more and more organisations strive for this honour each year, Kimberly-Clark's inclusion as a World's Most Ethical Company for 2012 demonstrates its industry-leading commitment to ethics and dedication to integrity."

Kimberly Clark has been given a number of other ethical and sustainability-related awards:

• The FTSE Group has just announced that Kimberly-Clark has been included on its FTSE4Good Index Series for the ninth consecutive year. The index recognises companies for working towards environmental sustainability, developing positive relationships with stakeholders, and upholding and supporting universal human rights.

• The company has received a ‘Gold’ standard in the Best Employer for Healthy Lifestyles Awards, which recognises companies that demonstrate effective, widespread and innovative solutions that improve the healthy lifestyles of employees both domestically and globally.

• It has been recognised as one of the top 20 ‘Best Corporate Citizens’ by Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine - for the fourth consecutive year. In 2012, Kimberly-Clark was ranked No. 18, which made it the top-rated non-food consumer packaged goods company on the list. The survey ranks companies on their performance in seven key areas: environment, climate change, human rights, philanthropy, employee relations, financial and governance.

• The US Environmental Protection Agency has ranked Kimberly-Clark No. 25 in the Top 50 Green Power Partnership organisations voluntarily using clean, renewable electricity from resources such as solar, wind and low-impact hydropower. Green power resources are those which produce electricity with an environmental profile superior to conventional power technologies, and produce significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Kimberly-Clark generates about 8% of its total annual electricity use from green power sources like wind and biomass.

Lori Shaffer, sustainability marketing manager at Kimberly-Clark Professional, said: “As a key part of the Kimberly-Clark family we fully subscribe to its Sustainability 2015 strategy and we are immensely proud to have won these awards. Sustainability is no longer only in the realm of our operations. It has grown to include virtually every function, every brand and every business at Kimberly-Clark, including Kimberly-Clark Professional. Creating a culture where our employees are committed to driving business results ethically and doing the right thing for our customers, our communities and the environment contributes directly to the success of our company.”

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