Executive Vice President presents Procurement Partner Sustainability Award at 2019 Supplier Expo

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Pictured left to right: Trent Grocock, Shannon Cullinan, Mike Tears, Kara Walker, Elijah Rigsby, Linda Kroll, Gilberto Carles, Carol Mullaney, Allison Mihalich, Donnetta McClellan  

On behalf of Procurement Services and the Office of Sustainability, Executive Vice President Shannon Cullinan presented Kimberly-Clark representatives with the inaugural Procurement Partner Sustainability Award at the annual Supplier Expo on Monday, Oct. 21. The award is designed to honor vendors who have made sustainability an integral part of their business practices and have partnered with Notre Dame to advance sustainability on campus. Nominees were evaluated on their environmental impact, reach of influence, innovation, commitment to efficiency and ability to spark change. 

Kimberly-Clark provides Notre Dame with an environmental analysis illustrating sustainability achievements in its manufacturing production process, highlighting such factors as post-consumer waste, reduction in fiber, energy, decrease of water consumption through production, and a significant decline in packaging waste.

All Kimberly-Clark custodial paper products used on campus are certified by third-party organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council, Ecologo and Green Seal. The products meet or exceed all EPA regulations. Notre Dame’s product mix has been revamped to include a large percentage of post-consumer waste on all products. That product mix adjustment, relative to the manufacturing process by Kimberly-Clark, has resulted in significant reductions in energy consumption (22 percent), water consumption (7 percent) and packaging waste consumption (9,500 pounds). 

This past year, a major paper towel dispenser conversion program was successfully implemented on campus, involving the retrofitting of multi-fold towel dispensers to roll-towel dispensers, with all dispensers being funded and installed by Kimberly-Clark. This change allows the University to use a less expensive and less wasteful towel rather than a higher-priced multi-fold towel, significantly reducing cost and waste. This conversion resulted in a packaging waste reduction of 1,100 pounds and energy savings of 11.2 million BTUs, enough to power 45 homes for a day.

The corporation has also worked with the research community to implement a nitrile glove recycling program on campus.

“Kimberly-Clark is continually working to reduce the environmental impacts of our products in order to help our company and our customers achieve ambitious sustainability goals,” said Elijah Rigsby, Midwest district sales manager at Kimberly-Clark. “We are proud to partner with Notre Dame on its journey to advance sustainability across its campus.”

Additional nominees considered for the award were Canon, Camfil, Emerson, Havel, Steelcase, Office Depot and VWR.