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Kimberly-Clark renews commitment to help solve global sanitation crisis

* Kimberly-Clark_sanitation.jpgThis November 19th, on World Toilet Day, Kimberly-Clark renewed its commitment to its Toilets Change Lives programme - a multi-national commercial programme that leverages the power of its well-known brands to educate consumers and help solve the global sanitation crisis.

The United Nations General Assembly officially designated World Toilet Day in 2013 to raise awareness and inspire efforts to tackle the global sanitation crisis. A lack of basic sanitation affects more than 2.4 billion people around the world, making 'access to water and sanitation for all' an important platform for the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

The reality of what this means for so many people is profound. Countless children miss school because of the spread of life-threatening diseases and infection from a lack of basic sanitation. And millions of girls miss school every month because menstruation becomes too hard to manage without access to proper facilities.

"Access to safe, clean, sanitation facilities should be a basic, human right," said Mauricio Troncoso, vice president and managing director for Western Europe for Kimberly-Clark Corporation. "The nature of our business gives us a unique understanding of sanitation and toilets, and the opportunity to improve and change lives for the better."

One of the keys to solving the crisis is the Toilet Board Coalition, a business led public-private partnership co-founded by Kimberly-Clark. Now in its fourth year, its members are multinational corporations, development experts, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations and social investors who share a joint vision and mission to support and accelerate commercially sustainable business models dedicated to building smart, sustainable sanitation systems for the future while delivering sanitation to all.

With the help of Kimberly-Clark leaders with a wide variety of skills from marketing, sales, finance, research, logistics and human resources, the Toilet Board Coalition is providing access to innovation and support for business processes that help entrepreneurs focus on the goal - to provide sustainable access to a proper toilet.

"This model works because it's about mutual benefit," adds Mauricio, who also was recently named chairman for the Toilet Board Coalition. "Kimberly-Clark can gain so much from working with entrepreneurial young businesses.

"Thus far, we've been given direct insight into consumer behaviour and we've been greatly inspired by the enthusiasm and drive of our mentees. And at the same time, we can help provide the expertise that will get growing businesses over the start line, to start solving the issue for good."

In addition, Kimberly-Clark is rallying employees, customers and consumers behind a large-scale multi-national programme titled Toilets Change Lives. It brings the global sanitation crisis to the forefront through its well-known global brands to help fund potentially life-saving programmes.

Since its inception in 2014, the Toilets Change Lives programme has helped improve access to sanitation to approximately 300,000 people in need. Several Kimberly-Clark brands, including Andrex, Scott and Neve, have partnered with key retailers in 10 countries to sell special promotional packs that help support potentially life-saving programs through donations to NGOs such as UNICEF, Water for People and WaterAid.

In India, for example, Kimberly-Clark has partnered with Charities Aid Foundation India to address the issue of open defecation through work to provide clean, safe toilets in schools and early child development centers. Additionally, the company is creating a sustainable market-driven model in partnership with the Toilet Board Coalition and Svadha, a sanitation focused social enterprise. The program trains villagers to become 'Sani-preneurs' who can build and sell toilets. This holistic approach, which galvanizes both demand and supply of toilets, aims to bring a sustainable solution to open defecation in India.

Lisa Morden, the company's global sustainability director says: "We're asking our consumers and our employees to purchase our products, share posts and stories through social media to enable contributions, or consider donating to support the cause.

"Through our Sustainability 2022 strategy, we hope to improve the social and physical well-being of people in need around the world, and make a lasting difference that realises our company's purpose of making lives better."


24th November 2016

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