KIMBERLY-Clark, the owner of household brands Andrex®, Kleenex® and Huggies®, is today celebrating a major milestone in its ambitious drive towards green energy as its new onshore wind farm in South Lanarkshire, Scotland was officially opened by Màiri McAllan, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Clydesdale constituency.
The windfarm will supply around 80% of Kimberly-Clark’s UK electrical power needs.
Alongside this, the wind farm will bring significant investment locally through a Community Benefit Fund. This will see over £200,000 distributed between South Lanarkshire Council Renewable Energy Fund, Coalburn Community Council and Lesmahagow Community Council in the wind farm’s first year of operation. The amount will increase each year in line with the Retail Price Index for the next 30 years.
Màiri McAllan, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Clydesdale constituency, said: “As the MSP for the Clydesdale constituency, I am delighted that Kimberly-Clark and Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust are investing in South Lanarkshire. The Cumberhead windfarm – which I was today pleased to officially open – will make a significant contribution to the local area and will play an important part in facilitating the Scottish Government’s ambitious climate change targets”.
The £75 million wind farm, which was built in just 18 months, is the largest wind asset owned by Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT), a company managed by Octopus Energy Generation. Kimberly-Clark has a Power Purchase Agreement for the energy generated.
As the global personal care giant’s first wind farm project outside of North America, the 50 MW 12-turbine Cumberhead facility will supply the company with approximately 160,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy every year. This will result in a total emissions reduction of 55,625 MTCO2e per year – the equivalent of taking 38,628 passenger vehicles off the road every year.
Dan Howell, Vice President and Managing Director at Kimberly-Clark UK & Ireland, said: “The Cumberhead windfarm is an important project for Kimberly-Clark, and we are proud to be building on South Lanarkshire’s legacy as a centre of excellence for renewable energy production. Energy transformation is a key priority for us, and we are committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2030 in the UK and Ireland. When people ask what ‘fully decarbonising our operations’ means in practice, showing them a brand new 12-turbine wind farm is a pretty powerful answer.”
David Bird, Investment Director for Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) said: “Officially inaugurating this wind farm is an absolutely fantastic milestone. Onshore wind farms like these are generating much-needed clean green power for the UK. It’s brilliant to be supplying this renewable power from this wind farm to Kimberly-Clark to help decarbonise their business. The more businesses that follow their lead, the quicker we can accelerate the push to net zero.”
The green power will be used by Kimberly-Clark’s manufacturing facilities across the UK, making up almost 80% of the electricity needs for its Barrow, Flint and Northfleet manufacturing facilities. Between them, these sites produce nearly 1 billion Andrex toilet rolls, over 150,000,000 boxes of Kleenex tissues, and almost 136 million packs of Huggies baby wipes per year, alongside other personal care products for the UK market and B2B products such as WypAll® and Scott®.
Oriol Margo, Sustainability Leader, Kimberly-Clark EMEA said: “We are feeling an immense amount of pride cutting the ribbon on this project today with Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust. Together, as we close in on our ambitious goal to move solely to renewable energy, we continue to invest in the future of the planet, our business and the FMCG industry as a whole, and hope to encourage other organisations, big and small, to do the same along the way.”
This project is part of Kimberly-Clark UK & Ireland’s wider sustainability strategy and its ambition to move to 100% renewable energy by 2030. To deliver this, the company is also working with Octopus on developing on-site solar power as well as green hydrogen. The company’s green hydrogen projects are being developed in partnership with HYRO, RES and Octopus Energy Generation’s green hydrogen adventure, and another with Carlton Power. The projects have been placed on the UK Government’s Hydrogen Business Model Strategy shortlist, and would reduce the company’s natural gas consumption once operational at the end of 2026.
By 2026, Kimberly-Clark’s UK and Ireland (scope 1 and 2) operational emissions are expected to be reduced by up to 85% from the 2015 baseline, ensuring the company is on track to meet its sustainability targets by 2030.