Global warming, weakening economies, geopolitical conflicts and social instability has resulted in a backdrop of unprecedented inflation, provoking a cost-of-living increase, food insecurity, and energy crisis. As volatility and uncertainty remain high, Kimberly-Clark Professional™ aim to support customers pursue their sustainability goals.
The Kimberly-Clark Professional sustainability audit is designed to help you achieve the right balance between reducing costs while maintaining a positive impact on the environment. Greenham is pleased to be able to support Kimberly-Clark Professional in offering this service to its trusted customers, supporting UK businesses to make more informed decisions to save money and expedite their Zero-Waste initiatives.
The ins and outs of waste management
As a population, we are currently producing waste faster than we can recycle it. In 2021 the world created 2.2bn tons of waste, a figure that is expected to double by 2050. Drastic change is needed. The good news is that there are solutions available, but we need to upscale them. Available solutions include waste prevention methods, eco-design, and moving towards a circular economy. If we, as a community of businesses can change our approach to waste, we could reduce carbon emissions, protect the planet, and grow our economies.
It will be a challenge, but the move to a zero-waste circular economy could provide businesses and communities with opportunities for cost savings and new revenue streams. The figures, as they stand today, show that we need to shift to a zero-waste economy.
The global picture:
- 37% of solid waste currently ends up in landfill
- 33% end up in open dumps
- 11% ends up in incinerators
- Only 14% is recycled
A waste of money
All this waste is hurting businesses and countries. The global cost of solid waste management is projected to be €380 billion a year by 2025. Not only will it cost businesses money, but it will also be costing us in the fight against climate change. Poor waste management contributes 5% of the world’s annual carbon emissions, damages ecosystems, and contaminates soil and water. Despite these gloomy statistics, there is cause for optimism. Attitudes towards waste and sustainability are changing.
The Circular Economy: the end of waste?
The term “the circular economy” is being increasingly used in sustainability circles, but what does it mean? In the simplest terms, it means moving from an economy that functions on a “take, make, dispose” approach to one of “reduce, reuse, recycle”. The fundamental goal of the circular economy is to remove the concept of waste from our economies altogether. It represents a wholesale system change that tackles climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution. There are three core principles at the heart of taking a “circular” or “closed loop” approach:
- Design out waste and pollution
- Keep products and materials in use and at their highest value
- Restore natural systems and enhance lives
Kimberly-Clark Professional™ know that talking about zero-waste counts for nothing unless you take necessary action. Therefore, when they design their products, they look at their complete life cycle so that the least amount of waste is produced, from manufacturing to transport, from use to collection and recycling. This is where RightCycle™ comes into play, helping customers find recycling solutions for hard-to-recycle products.
As part of their programme, they remove, collect, and collate an organisation’s old dispensers – no matter who the manufacturer is – and install new, more sustainable units. The raw materials from the old dispensers are then processed and turned into new products. They applied a similar approach to our own branded hand towels. They created a closed-loop service where organisations separate their used hand towels from their general waste to avoid contamination which enables them to return them to their mills, where the fibres are recycled and used to manufacture new tissue products.
Going full circle: the next obvious step
Businesses aren’t just embracing the circular economy because it is good for the environment; it also makes good business sense. But for the circular economy to make a real impact, it must be adopted globally. Only 8.6% of the global economy is currently circular, which is a missed opportunity. Accenture estimates state that the circular economy could unlock €4.5 trillion of economic growth. Shifting to a system that maintains and recycles the planet’s finite resources is essential.
Our world needs to produce 50% more food and energy and 30% more water to support the human population over the coming decades. The global economy will struggle to achieve this unless we take a circular approach that reduces waste and protects the environment. The opportunity is there. We just need to go full circle.
The world’s first dispenser installation and recycling system
Since its ground-breaking launch over 10 years ago, the innovative RightCycle by Kimberly-Clark Professional™ has diverted over 1500 tonnes of previously hard-to-recycle non-hazardous PPE from landfill and incineration. Kimberly-Clark Professional™ has most recently launched The RightCycle™ Programme for the recycling of old dispensers and used hand towels, supporting UK businesses in their drive to meet zero waste to landfill goals. This latest extension of The RightCycle™ Programme gives businesses the opportunity to transform the way they dispose of old dispensers and used hand towels for a more sustainable washroom.
Almost three-quarters (73%) of UK Businesses say reducing the environmental impact of their hygiene products already guides their decision-making – a factor set to take on even more significance in the future. As a global, market-leading company with ambitions to make life better for 1 billion people, Kimberly-Clark Professional™ is committed to helping its customers achieve their environmental aspirations to expedite that ambition, elevating workplaces with the highest sustainability standards.
In a world’s first, The RightCycle™ Programme offers both a dispenser installation and recycling service giving businesses a hassle-free way to be more sustainable and improve its washroom and wiping facilities.
Kimberly-Clark Professional™ expert fitters remove, collect, and collate an organisation’s old dispensers – no matter who the manufacturer is – and install new, hygienic, sustainable dispensers. Working with its recycling partners, the dispenser components including the plastic, cardboard and metal screws are transformed into new raw materials for use in new products such as car parts and children’s toys – breathing new life into old dispensers and diverting waste from landfill.
Hassle-free closed-loop recycling service for hand towels
Currently, the majority of used hand towels are just thrown away, now The RightCycle™ Programme offers a more responsible solution. Organisations separate their used hand towels from their general waste at point of use. The Kimberly-Clark Professional™ recycle partner takes them to an aggregation site for compression and baling. The bales are then transported to mills where the fibres are recycled and used in the manufacture of new tissue products – giving hand towels a second life.
By keeping Hand towels in the ‘circular economy’, The RightCycle™ Programme helps businesses cut their entire waste footprint by up to 25% and increase their building’s recycling rate by up to 5% – supporting sustainability goals.
The RightCycle™ Programme is designed to support organisations’ sustainability goals and help position them as a company committed to sustainability and their part towards zero waste. Customers can display their green credentials with a Certificate of Environmental Impact Achievement detailing the difference they have made (such as plastic weight diverted from landfill or total fibre recycled) this increases employee satisfaction knowing that they work for a company that cares.
The RightCycle™ Programme for dispensers is open to UK organisations with more than 100 customer-owned dispensers of any category. To be eligible for the RightCycle™ Programme for hand towels any UK organisation must be using – or happy to switch to – Kimberly-Clark Professional™ hand towels.
Get in touch to understand more about how Kimberly-Clark Professional and Greenham can support your business with a sustainability audit.