GreenMonk Sustainability Customer Reference series – Kimberly-Clark

This is the second video in my Sustainability Customer Reference series project – it involves my going to SAP customers and interviewing them about the sustainability solutions they have implemented. The first SAP customer I visited was AkzoNobel in Sweden. In this second video, I talk to Kimberly-Clark’s Barry Podd.

Here’s a transcription of our conversation:

Tom Raftery: Hi everyone, welcome to the GreenMonk Sustainability Customer Reference Series, sponsored by SAP. With me I have Barry Podd from Kimberly-Clark. Barry can you tell me a little bit about your role in Kimberly-Clark and also a little bit about Kimberly-Clark itself?

Barry Podd: My role within Kimberly-Clark includes looking after chemicals legislation globally for the company. And this has become more important for Kimberly-Clark over the last few years by the way the chemical legislation has been written, including companies who use chemicals, rather than manufacture them.

To talk about Kimberly-Clark, it’s a very large company, of course. We have a professional business, and we also have a consumer business. And it is probably the consumer business that is best known.

Products that we make are facial tissues. Kleenex is the big brand name in that area. Also our diapers, Huggies is the big brand name in that area. And we also make things like toilet tissue and Andrex and Scottex are probably the names that people know best in that area.

Tom Raftery: What impact has the changing legislation had on Kimberly-Clark?

Barry Podd: We have to do things like tracking the amount of chemicals we import as a global manufacturer from outside the European Union. Also, as far as our articles go, we’re very fortunate, we don’t tend to use hazardous chemicals in our products because of the nature of them, but that doesn’t help us under the legislation. We still have to track and know that we do not have those hazardous chemicals in our products.

Tom Raftery: And you’ve recently rolled out the SAP Product Safety Solution, what benefits do you see that having Kimberly-Clark?

Barry Podd: It will bring benefits in three areas. It will be fully integrated with the SAP software we already have, so a lot of the information we need is already in there and we’ll be able to bring it in and use it to the benefit of ensuring compliance with the legislation.

We still have a lot of data to collect from our raw materials suppliers, and also curiously from our customers on how they use the products we supply them with and SAP will help us in a big way to do that.

And then the third area that it will help us, it will help us store the information that we need to demonstrate that we fully comply with the legislation available to us in Europe. And there, that is one of the really big pluses of the SAP software solution.

Tom Raftery: And finally, what are your plans for the solution, now that you have it installed?

Barry Podd: Well, we’ve got big plans. Not only are we going to use it to ensure compliance with chemicals legislation, and it will be chemicals legislation around the world, but we’re also going to use it to produce our safety data sheets. One thing that we haven’t discussed at the moment is the legislation behind safety data sheets is changing, and they will have to include a great deal more information than hitherto has been the case. And we have decided to bring that now in-house, because that’s the best way for Kimberly-Clark to ensure that we comply with that legislation as well.

Tom Raftery: Barry that’s been great, thanks a million for talking to us today.