Kimberly-Clark Corporation: The Environmental Sustainability Challenge

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG091
Case Length : 31 Pages
Period : 2003-2008
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Industry : Consumer Packaged Goods
Countries : Global

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"We have an ever-increasing responsibility to our customers - and to the people who use our products - to source the materials and services for the products we manufacture in an environmentally and socially responsible manner."1

- Thomas Falk, CEO and Chairman, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, in 2007.

"This is a company that claims to be a leader on the environmental front. Unfortunately, when you dig into the claims, you come up with a very different story."2

- Richard Brooks, a campaign coordinator at Greenpeace3, in 2006.

Introduction

In September 2008, Kimberly-Clark Corporation (K-C), the paper-based consumer packaged goods giant based in the US, topped the list in the personal products category in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index4 (DJSI).

This was the fourth consecutive year that the company had achieved this distinction.

DJSI ranked the companies across 57 industry categories, based on long-term economic, environmental, and social performance.

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1] Sustainability at Kimberly-Clark - Guide for Suppliers (2007)
2] Marc Gunther, "Are Kleenex Tissues Wiping Out Forests?"www.money.cnn.com, September 27, 2006.
3] Greenpeace is a noted environmental activist group founded in 1971 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Its main objective was to oppose the testing of the nuclear devices by the US in Alaska. But it later expanded its focus to other environmental issues like deforestation, genetically modified food items, whaling, global warming, nuclear power, etc.
4] The Dow Jones Sustainability Index was the first global index tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies all over the world. It was created on December 31, 1998, by the companies Dow Jones Index, Stoxx Limited, and Sustainable Asset Management.

 

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