Kimberly-Clark, the parent company of leading household brands including Andrex®, Kleenex®, Huggies®, WypAll® and Scott®, is celebrating a major milestone in its ambitious drive towards green energy with the official opening of a new onshore wind farm by Màiri McAllan, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Clydesdale constituency and Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition, that will supply around 80 per cent of its UK electrical power needs.
The £75 million wind farm, which was built in just 18 months in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, is the largest wind asset owned by Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT), a company managed by Octopus Energy Generation. Kimberly-Clark has a Power Purchase Agreement for the energy generated.
As the global personal care giant’s first wind farm project outside of North America, the 50 MW 12-turbine Cumberhead facility will supply the company with approximately 160,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy every year. This will result in a total emissions reduction of 55,625 MTCO2e per year – the equivalent of taking 38,628 passenger vehicles off the road every year.
Craig Bowman, General Manager, Kimberly-Clark Professional UK & Ireland said: “It is through responsible and innovative business partnerships and investments in new technology like this agreement with ORIT that enables us to make significant changes in this decisive decade and reach our decarbonisation goals.
“We adopt a life cycle approach to sustainability, starting by designing products to reduce consumption, reducing the use of natural resources and diverting our manufacturing waste from landfill. This enables us to provide customers with high performance products and systems that help them reduce usage and waste. By reducing energy use (scope 1) and prioritising and using renewable energy in our operations (scope 2) we are reducing the carbon impact of our products (customer scope 3 emissions).”
David Bird, Investment Director for Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) said: “Officially inaugurating this wind farm is an absolutely fantastic milestone. Onshore wind farms like these are generating much-needed clean green power for the UK. It’s brilliant to be supplying this renewable power from this wind farm to Kimberly-Clark to help decarbonise their business. The more businesses that follow their lead, the quicker we can accelerate the push to net zero.”
The green power will be used by Kimberly-Clark’s manufacturing facilities across the UK, making up almost 80 per cent of the electricity needs for its Barrow, Flint and Northfleet manufacturing facilities. At the Flint site, over 185 million Scott toilet rolls and around 30 million rolls of WypAll wipers are manufactured annually for the B2B market in UK and Europe, alongside household staples including nearly one billion Andrex toilet rolls and over 150 million boxes of Kleenex tissues.
Oriol Margo, Sustainability Leader, Kimberly-Clark EMEA said: “We are feeling an immense amount of pride cutting the ribbon on this project with Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust. Together, as we close in on our ambitious goal to move solely to renewable energy, we continue to invest in the future of the planet, our business and the FMCG industry as a whole, and hope to encourage other organisations, big and small, to do the same along the way.”
This project is part of Kimberly-Clark UK & Ireland’s wider sustainability strategy and its ambition to move to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030. To deliver this, the company is also working with Octopus on developing on-site solar power as well as green hydrogen projects.
By 2025, Kimberly-Clark’s UK and Ireland total operational emissions (scope 1 and 2) are expected to be reduced by up to 85 per cent from the 2015 baseline, ensuring the company is on track to meet its sustainability targets.