Sharna Heinjus: 15m nappies composted as part of strategy

29 March 2016

Composting 15 million babies’ nappies and recycling 1.6 billion soft plastic items are just two of the real and potential outcomes from a comprehensive sustainability strategy operated by multi-national company Kimberly-Clark.

General Manager Sharna Heinjus says that through a strategy called ‘Our Essential World’, her company ensures it’s focused on the right things and is making positive progress against its three key pillars: people, planet, product.

Sharna Heinjus appears in a video in the NZ Food & Grocery Council’s Leadership Series in what is essentially a snapshot of what responsible companies are doing – and can do – around sustainability.

“We aim to work with our customers, consumers, and employees, as well as our suppliers, to ensure that we’re leading the world in this space and leaving the world in a better space for future generations.”

She points to a co-generation facility in Australia which has reduced carbon emissions by 9.5% and at the same time increased productivity by 7.9%, and how all their fibre is Forest Stewardship Council certified.

Two big projects are Envirocomp, a nappy recycling scheme invented in New Zealand and which has composted 15 million babies’ nappies in its first 6 years, and as a founding sponsor of Redcycle, which recycles soft plastic left at supermarkets, and which could handle 1.6 billion plastic items.

“… the number one consumer global trend is ‘going green’. The second thing that our customers tell us is that they want to work with suppliers that are doing the right thing and that are really leading in the sustainability space. And then our employees tell us that they want to work for a company that is leading an agenda of environmental and social responsibility, and Kimberly-Clark is very much that.”

FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich says there are some great leaders and thinkers within the FGC membership and idea behind the videos is to have them share insights and provide ideas for other member companies to apply to their business.

“In this series they talk about all manner of things that affect their business – from health & wellness and sustainability, to talent retention and workplace safety, as well as their philosophies and views on the business climate and latest trends.

The first video in the series featured Geoff Shaw of Saturn Group talking about the importance of making sure companies are training up the right talent for senior roles, and  the great career FMCG can provide young people.

Watch Sharna Heinjus here

Watch Geoff Shaw here