Since 1872, Kimberly-Clark has embraced the same core values of authenticity, accountability, caring and innovation. These values reflect an understanding of our responsibility to make a positive contribution to the people we serve around the globe – our purpose of Better Care for a Better World. We live those values and deliver our purpose by operating with integrity and high ethical standards.
Our commitment to acting ethically and in compliance with the law means we continue our heritage of honesty, integrity, and courageously doing the right thing. And our ethics and compliance program provides the framework and tools that enable our leaders and our employees to do the right thing, every day. We are committed to implementing leading practices and strive to always continuously improve, and in recognition of that, in 2021 Kimberly-Clark was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere for the third consecutive year.
We define our expectations for ethical behavior in our Code of Conduct. It guides our employees to make the right decisions for Kimberly-Clark, our customers, and our consumers by fostering a culture of integrity. The Code of Conduct is a resource for our employees, business partners and others who contribute to our success, and we expect our business partners to hold themselves to the same high standards to which we hold ourselves.
Our Code of Conduct provides the framework for consistent, ethical behavior and compliance with applicable laws, while our corporate policies more specifically govern our business operations and practices globally. Both the Code and applicable corporate policies guide our employees in key operational areas such as dealing with suppliers and other third parties, competing fairly, and preventing corruption. Fair dealing is central to our culture, and we believe that honesty and trustworthiness build long-lasting relationships with our consumers, customers, suppliers, and business partners. We are committed to competing fairly and responsibly wherever we do business. And we prohibit the offering or accepting of any payment or incentive to improperly influence business decisions. Operating with integrity and high ethical standards is the Kimberly-Clark way of doing business.
Kimberly-Clark regularly trains its employees on the Code of Conduct and issues relating to our corporate policies, based on ongoing risk assessments and business needs. Kimberly-Clark regularly requires all employees to take Code of Conduct training, and such training is a standard part of new employee onboarding. That training includes a requirement for each employee to read and understand the Code, and agree to comply with it. This broad employee training regimen is supplemented by more targeted training programs based on factors such as role, location, and business activity, as well as leader-led communications regarding operating with integrity and always doing the right thing.
Part of living our core values is speaking up, asking questions, and raising concerns when we need guidance. Speaking up is not always easy – it often takes courage. Our willingness to speak up is critical to our commitment to operating with integrity around the world. That’s why we have a compliance HelpLine as a mechanism for employees to speak up, ask questions, and seek answers, always with the option to remain anonymous if they choose. Issues raised through the HelpLine undergo a thorough review process, with outcomes tracked to resolution and metrics regularly reviewed to inform ongoing risk assessments.
Published July 2022