‘Committed to Impacting People and How Work Gets Done’ – The Kimberly-Clark Professional Promise
Kimberly-Clark is a world renowned name in hygiene and personal protection. It provides personal hygiene solutions through its surface wiping products, and personal protective equipment to various industries and businesses, including manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food, as well as office buildings and premium hospitality chains. Kimberly-Clark owns globally recognized brands like Scott®, Kleenex®, Huggies®, Kotex®, Cottonelle®, and Depend®. In an interview with Industrial Safety Review, Neeraj Raghuvanshi, General Manager-KCP South Asia substantiates the company’s sobriquet and reiterates its commitment to promote better hygiene and help mitigate the spread of diseases through cross-contamination in various sectors and businesses. Excerpts:
Q. How would you introduce your company to a new audience?
Our company’s motto, Better Care for a Better World, is deeply rooted in our heritage. Living Better Care for a Better World means we have the honor to serve customers and consumers, build communities and careers, and improve the lives of billions of people around the world for another 150 years and beyond. Kimberly-Clark Professional (KCP) plays a critical role in providing profitable growth for the company while delivering Better Care through our products that enable exceptional workplaces, helping them to be healthier, safer and more productive.
Kimberly-Clark Professional provides personal hygiene solutions, surface wiping products, and personal protective equipment to various industries and businesses, including manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food, as well as office buildings and premium hospitality chains. Kimberly-Clark owns globally recognized brands like Scott®, Kleenex®, Huggies®, Kotex®, Cottonelle®, and Depend®.
Globally, we’ve been focused on sustainability for a long time and have an excellent track record. In 2020, Kimberly-Clark launched the next phase of our journey, which sets ambitious goals for the next decade. As part of this global strategy, by 2030:
We aspire to advance the well-being of one billion people through our social impact programs; and
We plan to reduce our environmental footprint by half, with a focus on plastics, water, carbon and forests.
Q. The name Kimberly-Clark is associated with hygiene. What’s the role you played in personal hygiene and contamination control during the COVID-19 era?
During the COVID-19 era, we played a critical role in promoting hand hygiene and contamination control through our range of personal hygiene and PPE products. We are especially proud of our association with India’s fight against the pandemic wherein we catered to customers in the life-saving businesses such as vaccines, OSDs, etc. with our KimtechTM and KleenGuard® range of PPE and wiping range for maintaining surface hygiene.
Q. What does your portfolio look like today?
We are focused on our customer needs and offer a balanced portfolio of personal hygiene products for hand hygiene under our Scott® and Kleenex® range such as highly absorbent hand towels, skincare including foam and liquid soap solutions, sanitizers, and other washroom hygiene products like bath tissues, facial tissues, personal seat covers, air neutralizers, etc., surface wiping solutions for industrial use under our WypAll® range, and industrial and scientific nitrile gloves, eyewear, cleanroom masks and apparel under our KleenGuard® and KimtechTM range respectively.
Q. You are one who constantly innovates. What are the product innovations you have brought about in your paper towels?
Sustainability is an important part of our brand promise and is integral to how we do business at KCP In line with our commitment to sustainability, we are pleased to share that we are EPR registered. This means that it is our responsibility to ensure that the products we produce will enter back into the circular economy. Our heritage of caring also extends to our impact on people, climate, and nature. Moreover, the products that are made at our Chakan, Pune facility use packaging material made of 100% recycled plastic. Our paper towels feature our innovative AirflexTM technology that enhances absorbency in our paper hand towels through absorbency pockets. This helps our customers control their paper towel consumption while ensuring effective hand hygiene. We were the first to launch touchless hand towel dispensing solutions and are constantly innovating to bring new value-adding products out to the market.
Q. You champion in intuitive design of your products. May we have some examples?
WypAll® X Wipers are made from HYDROKNITTM material which comprises soft, absorbent cellulose fibres and strong polypropylene non-woven fabric. The cellulose component allows these wiping cloths to absorb water quickly and effectively, while the tear-resistant polypropylene fabric soaks up more than its own weight in oil and grease. The result is durable and absorbent wipers, which can be used wet or dry. This innovative HYDROKNITTM technology of absorbency enables customers to save on their solvent consumption upto 60% and reduce waste for disposal by at least 45%. Our WypAll® ReachTM range of dispensers and wipes that we offer for the hospitality industry, help reduce paper consumption through controlled dispensing, while maintaining facility hygiene and aesthetics. Our sterile range of PPE products are designed with the end user comfort and the cleanroom in mind, enabling not just personal protection but also process protection.
Q. What are your offerings for managing washroom hygiene?
We understand that more than ever, hygiene plays a significant role in employee, guest, and tenant comfort and satisfaction. With our portfolio of Kleenex®, Scott® and Scott Essential® restroom brands, we help our customers prevent the spread of germs and provide a positive experience from the restroom and beyond. These include hand towels and dispensers, skincare solutions like foam soaps and liquid soaps as well as bath tissues, facial tissues and air neutralizers. When designing our hand hygiene products especially the towel systems, we look at what matters most to restroom users—hygiene, efficiency and sustainability.
Q. What is your definition for quality? How does it permeate your entire product spectrum?
Quality is a core value of our company and is reflected end-to-end in our culture, from product design to manufacturing to customer service. We have strict safety reviews for our new products, meeting the necessary regulations as well as efficient tools to handle customer queries and complaints, if any. We help our customers be ‘Audit Ready’ and support them in their audits with appropriate documentation. We have a FSC certified facility in Pune, India, which goes on to show our unwavering commitment to quality and sustainability.
Q. What are the different solutions you offer for surgical and medical hygiene?
We have an innovative wiping system called WetTaskTM that can be saturated with a range of disinfectants and used for sanitization of surfaces in office, pharmaceutical and healthcare facilities.It helps these facilities to maintain their disinfection standards as well as save on disinfectant consumption, while reducing cross-contamination and worker exposure compared to rags in an open bucket.
Q. Is the industry found wanting in hygiene and upkeep? What’s your experience?
The industry has become more aware of the importance of hygiene and upkeep, and we have seen increased demand for our products as a result. Our customers also recognize the futility of traditional cleaning tools such as rags and are hence excited about making the shift from traditional rags to WypAll® wiping solutions for their facility maintenance activities. With sustainability at the core of what we do, we are proud that our sustainability goals align with those of our customers, which enables the community to grow together.
Q. Hospitality sector must be a major customer for you. What are the different convenience products you offer to this sector that have a bearing on hygiene?
We offer a range of hand hygiene and surface hygiene products for the hospitality sector, including our dispensers and hand towels, facial & bath tissues, napkins for guests, wipes for use in kitchen, safety PPE such as nitrile gloves, as well as wet wiping systems with surface disinfectants for high traffic areas like gyms and conference rooms. With our aesthetic and functionally high performing products that also carry the required certifications, hotel properties can ensure compliance to the respective norms and create a comfortable and hygienic stay for their guests and a safe workplace for their employees.
Q. Please throw some light on your manufacturing excellence and quality benchmarks?
Our manufacturing excellence and quality benchmarks are reflected in our ISO certifications and our commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing.
Q. Will all your products remain paper-based?
While paper-based products are a core part of our hand hygiene and wiping portfolios, we are also exploring new materials and sustainable solutions for the future.
Q. Finally, what’s your single most contribution to health and hygiene of people across continents?
Our single most contribution to health and hygiene has been our commitment to providing innovative and effective quality solutions that promote better hygiene and help reduce the spread of disease through cross-contamination and greater awareness.