DALLAS (News release) -- Kimberly-Clark is marking the 150th anniversary of the company's first product sold and celebrating its ongoing leadership in category defining innovation that led the company to create five of the categories it competes in, and introduce products and technologies that make a difference in the lives of billions of people each day.
"For 150 years, our team has transformed insights into new categories and products that have made a difference in the lives of billions of people around the world," said Mike Hsu, Chairman and CEO of Kimberly-Clark. "Our commitment to help people with their most essential needs remains core to how we deliver meaningful innovation and bring to life our purpose of Better Care for a Better World."
The company's first sale was a stack of writing paper produced from recycled rags and linens at its newly opened Globe Mill in Neenah, Wisconsin on October 22, 1872. By the early 1900's, Kimberly-Clark began to evolve its operations from a pulp and paper company to a personal care company as it introduced trusted brands such as Kotex®, Kleenex®, Huggies® and Depend® that are now an essential part of daily life for billions around the world.
The launch of the Kotex brand in 1920 was a pivotal moment, as Kimberly-Clark launched the modern feminine hygiene category with new-to-the-world products that also brought the promise of new opportunities for women. However, the subject of menstruation led publications to refuse advertising for the brand, and drug stores would stock Kotex pads out of sight. Today, the brand continues to work around the world to promote menstrual hygiene education, tackle social stigmas, and improve access to these essential products.
These challenges represent some of the unmet societal needs that Kimberly-Clark and its brands are working to address as part of a 10-year commitment to advance the well-being of 1 billion people in vulnerable and underserved communities by 2030.
In honor of the company's 150th anniversary, Kimberly-Clark and the Kimberly-Clark Foundation announced three $150,000 grants to nonprofit organizations that work to improve the well-being of people around the world. Since its inception in 1952, the Foundation has provided over $440 million in financial support to targeted causes that align with the company's social impact goals. In addition, Kimberly-Clark's North American team donated a $150,000 grant to the Neenah Joint School District to be used to further STEM educational opportunities throughout the district.
As Kimberly-Clark looks ahead to future innovation and growth, it is working to find new ways to give consumers the essentials they need while safeguarding natural systems and the life they support. These ambitions are at the forefront of continued strategic investments in global research and the development of sustainable raw materials, alternative fibers, nonwovens materials science, intelligent washroom technologies and other benefit areas.
Innovation and advantaged technology have allowed Kimberly-Clark to bring more sustainable products to market, including 100% biodegradable baby wipes made with plant derived fibers, bath tissue made with 100% bamboo fiber and wrapped in recycled paper packaging, and reusables including new swim pants and period undies.
While consumer needs are at the center of Kimberly-Clark's current efforts, it's humanity-centric innovation that provides the inspiration for its global research and development teams to think about where the company might be in the next 150 years.
With a focus on affordability, accessibility, availability, and acceptability for a diverse array of people, Kimberly-Clark is working to create long-term, sustainable change and deliver on its purpose to create a better future for people around the world.
Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and its trusted brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Fueled by ingenuity, creativity, and an understanding of people's most essential needs, we create products that help individuals experience more of what's important to them. Our portfolio of brands, including Huggies, Kleenex, Scott, Kotex, Cottonelle, Poise, Depend, Andrex, Pull-Ups, GoodNites, Intimus, Neve, Plenitud, Sweety, Softex, Viva and WypAll, hold No. 1 or No. 2 share positions in approximately 80 countries. We use sustainable practices that support a healthy planet, build strong communities, and ensure our business thrives for decades to come. To keep up with the latest news and to learn more about the company's 150-year history of innovation, visit kimberly-clark.com.
About Kimberly-Clark's 2030 ESG Ambitions
With the UN Sustainable Development Goals as our roadmap, Kimberly-Clark is putting its brands and supply chain to work to solve some of today's most pressing challenges while lifting up 1 billion people in vulnerable and underserved communities around the world. Kimberly-Clark's 2030 ambitions and targets for social impact and the environment are positioned to support the UN goals for Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12), Climate Action (SDG 13), Life Below Water (SDG 14) and Life on Land (SDG 15). Learn more about our journey to 2030 at kimberly-clark.com/esg.