Can Toilets Help Change Lives? Kimberly-Clark’s Commitment To Improving Access To Sanitation For Those Who Need It Most
2.5 billion people around the world are living without access to improved sanitation, and the impacts on quality of life are significant. Millions of girls miss school every month because menstruation becomes too hard to manage without proper facilities. And countless children are absent from school because of the spread of disease and infection from a lack of basic sanitation.
At Kimberly-Clark, we are taking action to help provide the basic essentials of sanitation. This aligns to our mission and our core value of caring, and it is important for our future business growth.
In 2014, we co-founded the Toilet Board Coalition a group of leading companies, government agencies, sanitation experts and non-profit organizations, which aims to develop commercially sustainable and scalable solutions to the sanitation crisis. Beyond the financial support provided to the coalition, we are also contributing through our people - who bring a variety of skills, from marketing, sales and finance to research and engineering - to accelerate the agenda of the coalition.
We also implemented a pilot program in the United Kingdom with our Andrex bath tissue brand in partnership with UNICEF and commercial retailer Sainsbury's. We invited consumers to join this effort by purchasing special promotional packs of Andrex bath tissue. A portion of sales from every pack purchased went to support UNICEF's efforts in Angola to expand access to sanitation and meet national sanitation targets. The pilot was a great success, showing that our brands can do well by doing good. Our results helped 60,000 people gain access to sanitation and the strong consumer engagement helped sell one million rolls of Andrex.
We intend to take the lessons learned through the pilot program to better scale our efforts, beginning with expansion in 2015 to Bolivia and India. We intend to eventually expand to more markets around the world and rally consumers, customers, employees and external stakeholders behind a large-scale program called Toilets Change Lives, which will help fund life-saving programs - and nothing is more essential than that.
Elizabeth Del Toro