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Kimberly-Clark: Pause When You Flush This World Toilet Day

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Globally, one in three people don't have access to a clean and safe toileti. This Sunday, on World Toilet Day, Kimberly-Clark, Dallas,Texas, USA, makers of global toilet tissue brands including Cottonelle, Scott, Andrex, Neve, Hakle, and Suave, is encouraging people to pause while they flush and consider how the lack of basic sanitation facilities profoundly affects peoples' lives. 

Around the globe, one child dies every two minutes from diseases caused by poor water, sanitation, and hygiene. Millions of girls miss school every month because they do not have access to adequate sanitation facilities to manage their periods privately and with dignity. Women and girls often have to wait until dark to defecate and urinate, often in secluded spots, exposing them to risk of violence and attack.

Kimberly-Clark believes that access to sanitation is an essential for a better life and that toilets change lives. The company, which launched its Toilets Change Lives program in 2014 in the U.K., has now expanded it to involve more than 15 countries around the world. The program, delivered in partnership with organizations such as UNICEF, WaterAid, and Water For People, provides funding and expertise to build, repair, and maintain toilet infrastructure, along with hygiene education and behavior change programming. 

"As a global personal care company, Kimberly-Clark brings decades of experience and expertise in understanding the interconnected issues associated with hygiene, sanitation, and water," said Rishi Dhingra, VP and global sector leader, Family Care. "What we've learned from undertaking the Toilets Change Lives program is that no single entity can solve this issue alone; rather it takes, and will continue to take, true collaboration. What has helped us to scale-up the Toilets Change Lives program is the involvement of our consumers, retail partners, NGOs, and employees. The plan is to continue to grow this program and involve more people and partners, including our suppliers, as we believe everyone deserves the dignity of a clean and safe toilet." 

Lisa Morden, global head of sustainability for Kimberly-Clark, noted that "to date, the Toilets Change Lives program has directly improved the lives of 500,000 people with the wider community impact reaching more than 1 million. We are working towards a goal of improving the lives of 25 million people in need by 2022 through increasing access to sanitation, helping children thrive, and empowering women and girls." 

Communities in countries such as Angola, Bangladesh, India, South Africa, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua have already benefited through The Toilets Change Lives program. Examples of some of the projects include: 
  • In the U.K., Spain, Switzerland, and The Netherlands, Kimberly-Clark's Andrex, Scottex, Hakle, and Page brands are partnering with UNICEF to affect change in Angola. Through its Toilets Change Lives program, Kimberly-Clark is contributing to UNICEF's Water and Sanitation work in Angola. Donations to date have helped more than 240,000 people in Angola gain access to sanitation, through efforts to empower communities to build their own clean, safe toilets. By the end of this year, the goal is to help an additional 45,000 people in Angola. Watch the video.  
  • The Toilets Change Lives program in the U.K. has recently expanded to involve WaterAid, where work is underway to improve public sanitation in two urban centers in Bangladesh. The public toilets being built and renovated will serve more than 100,000 people in the first year. 
  • In India, Kimberly-Clark is working with the Charities Aid Foundation to repair and maintain toilets in schools and mobilize children as change agents to bring hygiene education into their families' homes. To date, the program has directly benefited more than 30,000 school children and teachers across 100-plus schools, increasing enrollments at some schools by up to 40%i. 
  • In Latin America, Kimberly-Clark's Scott and Suave brands are partnering with Water for People to bring sanitation services, safe drinking water, and/or hygiene education to more than 25,000 people across 32 communities and 21 schools in Bolivia and Peru. This year, the partnership has expanded into three new markets – Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. 
Developing Next Generation Sanitation Solutions

Looking to the future, Kimberly-Clark is bringing its innovation capabilities to help develop commercially sustainable and scalable solutions to the sanitation crisis. As a founding member of the Toilet Board Coalition, Kimberly-Clark supports the organization's "Toilet Accelerator" program. Through the "Toilet Accelerator" program, Kimberly-Clark employees mentor local entrepreneurs to develop new technology, programs, and business models to convert waste from a cost to a valuable resource, with the ultimate aim of creating a self-sustaining sanitation economy.

For example, members of Kimberly-Clark's Corporate Research & Engineering team have been helping to mentor BioCycle, an innovative South African business, on the development of a unique production technology, which uses fly larvae to convert waste into high value products including animal feed and biodiesel. BioCycle's solution aims to help entrepreneurs around the world generate revenue from waste, creating an economic incentive to develop new sanitation systems in underserved regions.

"Kimberly-Clark helped establish the Toilet Board Coalition in 2014 to accelerate the development of the sanitation economy and new circular business models that approach waste differently," said Morden. 


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