The European Parliament has approved a ban on disposable plastic products, bringing the ban one step closer to reality. The ban would affect a wide range of products that have alternatives, such as straws and cutlery. The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in support of a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics to counter pollution from the discarded items in waterways and fields. The Parliament backed the ban 560-35. EU member states have given their support but need to vote on the measure for it to go into effect. The ban would be implemented from 2021 and would affect a range of plastic products that have reasonable alternatives, such as plastic cutlery, foam takeout food containers, straws and drink stirrers. Click Read More below for additional detail.
Kimberly-Clark today published its 2018 Global Sustainability Report, highlighting the ways in which the company is impacting the world through its Sustainability 2022 strategy to create social, environmental and business value.
“We are three years into our ambitious Sustainability 2022 program, and I’m inspired by the impact we’ve made. Through our brand-led programs like Toilets Change Lives and No Baby Unhugged, and our leadership in creating the Alliance for Period Supplies, we’re taking action on critical issues around the world,” said Mike Hsu, Chief Executive Officer, Kimberly-Clark.
“We’ve achieved some big goals, but we know that new challenges to the environment are emerging and consumers’ expectations are shifting. We must continue to leverage our legacy of innovation to come up with new solutions to meet these needs,” added Hsu.
Kimberly-Clark’sSustainability 2022 strategy tracks its progress against five strategic sustainability pillars – Social Impact, Forests & Fiber, Waste & Recycling, Energy & Climate and Supply Chain.
Highlights of the past year include:
•Co-founded the Alliance for Period Supplies to help women and girls in need access period supplies;
•Met absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals four years early, down 27% (vs. 2005 baseline);
•Reduced use of fiber from natural forest landscapes by 30% since 2011;
•Diverted more than 21,000 metric tons of material to higher value alternatives;
•Reduced our water use at our facilities in high-stress regions by 24%; and
•Introduction of alternative energy sources across six manufacturing sites, including wind, solar and cogeneration projects.
“We have long believed that setting ambitious goals and pursuing long-term change has a positive impact on our business and on the world,” said Lisa Morden, Vice President for Safety and Sustainability. “We met key goals this year around energy and climate well ahead of schedule, which is a testament to the teams and manufacturing leaders who rallied behind transformational changes and alternative energy.”
The company’s energy and climate goals were accelerated by a combination of LEAN energy, conservation, and alternative energy projects. Over the past three years, Kimberly-Clark has executed more than 400 energy conservation projects and deployed LEAN energy at 37 sites. The company implemented six alternative energy projects around biomass boilers, lower GHG emitting fuels and cogeneration. The electricity produced because of the company’s virtual power purchase agreements with two wind farms offset 99% of the electricity purchased by its Kimberly-Clark Professional manufacturing sites in the United States.
“In response to meeting our energy and climate goals early, Kimberly-Clark will double our GHG reduction target from 20% to 40% reduction by 2022,” added Morden.
Partnerships also played an important role in the company’s 2018 results. Kimberly-Clark’s consumer and professional businesses signed on to Wrap UK’s Plastics Pact, and the company joined Ocean Conservancy’sTrash Free Seas Alliance as members of the steering committee. In addition, the company continued to foster strong relationships with WWF and the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and used the partnership to build consumer awareness of responsible forestry practices.
“This year proved once again that strong partnerships yield long-lasting results for the environment,” added Morden. “While great progress has been made, there is still work to be done. We will continue to challenge our teams to drive social and environmental impact while bringing value to our consumers at the same time.”
The company’s 2018 Global Sustainability Report outlines the company’s strategies and results in greater detail and is organized and presented in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards.