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Enabling Future Leaders to Think Sustainably – Kruger Products Develops Education Program

Students of today are the leaders of tomorrow. We have an opportunity to teach them right from wrong, good from bad and demonstrate by example how a vision can translate into action and make a difference in the world.

Big Companies can Make Big Differences

This ideology is the driver behind many decisions Kruger Products makes in terms of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. “We know that when we reduce our emissions by 15% or commit to a cause, we can make more of an impact than an individual choosing to reduce his emissions by 15% or donating to a cause,” says Steven Sage, VP Sustainability & Innovation Kruger Products. Making a difference is something that Kruger Products takes seriously, which is why it embarked on Sustainability 2015, it’s five-year journey to reduce its environmental impact, in the first place.

Learn more about Kruger Products by visiting their Homebase Page in the TSSS Innovation HUB

“For us, sustainability is just as much about reducing emissions and improving water and energy consumption, as it is about being a good member of the communities in which we operate.” Kruger Products strives to give back to the community through a variety of philanthropic, volunteer and sponsorship programs because it helps create more stability within the community as well as contributing to a positive future.

Thought Leadership

EnvirocareKruger Products is the leader in consumer and away-from-home tissue products in the Canadian market with well-known brands Cashmere bathroom tissue, SpongeTowels paper towels and Scotties facial tissue. Kruger Products believes it has a responsibility to not only lead by example, but share knowledge and challenge and inspire others. Kruger Products has resources and means to collect data and research that can benefit more than simply its own company and in many cases, the company believes in sharing this insight, particularly as it relates to sustainability.

Kruger Products has the resources and means to benefit more than simply its own company and in many cases, the company believes in sharing this insight, particularly as it relates to sustainability.

Embedding sustainability even further into society is important to Kruger Products so in 2012, the company partnered with the Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario (STAO) hoping to share much of what it learned in the realm of sustainability with students. STAO was immediately intrigued with the opportunity because it helped achieve two objectives: bring sustainability more to the forefront with real world applications and highlight Canadian content in the classroom.

During a day-long session, Kruger Products took STAO’s curriculum development team, comprised of current and retired teachers from across the province, through different corporate initiatives. The group discussed everything from new processes and technologies to products and corporate decision-making. STAO took this information and spent the next year developing 13 classroom modules for elementary and high school science teachers. The modules were launched in time for the 2013/2014 school year, and to date have been downloaded more than 8,000 times. Feedback from teachers and students has been extremely positive, ranging from having fun with hands-on modules, like making recycled paper, to appreciating the access to current and relevant content in the classroom.

A Focus on Youth

Group of happy multiracial school children reading booksThere is no denying that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow. They are the key to protecting our environment long into the future, which is why Kruger Products is keen on working with youth in various capacities. The launch of the 13 STAO modules is the latest example of how Kruger Products is investing in our future leaders and helping provide resources to prepare them to lead responsibly.

A Legacy of Community Engagement

Kruger Products believes that having goals and a vision that go beyond products and profits is important to becoming a true leader and actually being viewed as such by consumers and customers. Corporately, the company’s mission statement is:

To profitably grow in the North American tissue market and related sectors through superior customer and consumer focus.

But Kruger Products has long-since been a committed and enthusiastic member of its communities through a host of philanthropic, charitable, volunteer and sponsorship activities. “We recognize that we have a direct impact on our communities and embrace this opportunity to challenge ourselves to make a positive difference. Longevity and evolving programs over time improves results and re-engages people to listen to your message and be part of the cause. In fact, several of our programs have been in place for more than a decade.”

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF): Kruger Products has been a proud supporter of CBCF since 2005 and has grown to become one of the Foundation’s Top 5 national contributors. Its financial contributions fund innovative research that improves the quality of life for women and families affected by breast cancer. “We are honoured to be part of the community working to make their lives better and work hard to build programs throughout the year that engage our consumers, customers and employees to join in our effort for this cause,” says Nancy Marcus, Corporate VP Marketing.

The company builds awareness of the CBCF through a variety of marketing and product initiatives, including the annual Scotties facial tissue tribute box and our annual ‘Touch of Pink’ limited edition Cashmere and SpongeTowels products form which a portion of the purchase price is donated to the CBCF. The majority of its regular consumer products carry the CBCF logo throughout the year to help keep the message alive, rather than only promoting it during October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Fundraising programs generate much-needed financial support for important research, but other initiatives can create just as much of an impact to a patient’s life. In 2012, Scotties launched the Inspire Hope program – a complete redesign of the Oncology Patient Lounge at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. With the help of Erin McLaughlin, Editor-in-Chief at Style at Home magazine, Scotties turned what was once a sterile and uninspiring communal hospital room into a soulful and comfortable space for those battling cancer.

The annual White Cashmere Collection (WCC), presented by Cashmere bathroom tissue, celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2013. An unforgettable tribute to Designing a Future without Breast Cancer, the WCC is Canada’s first and only fashion collection entirely created from Cashmere bathroom tissue. The collection promotes Canadian fashion designer creations and raises awareness and funds for the CBCF.

In 2013, Kruger Products further demonstrated its commitment to a future without breast cancer by rallying employees and participating in its first multi-site support of CBCF’s CIBC Run for the Cure with more than 110 participants across Canada, including teams from Mississauga, ON; Vancouver, BC; Gatineau and Montreal, QC.

Scotties Tournament of Hearts (STOH): 2014 marked Kruger Products’ 33rd year of dedication to the Canadian Women’s Curling Championship, which is the longest sponsorship of amateur athletics in the country. Canada has long distinguished itself as the number one curling nation in the world, with more than one million Canadians taking part in the sport every year, and our commitment supports this right across the country. Each year, Kruger Products helps raise awareness and support for this beloved Canadian past-time through its sponsorship of the provincial and national championships, which includes customer events at the tournament, various advertisements and promotion through our products, website and Facebook channels.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada (RMHC): For more than 25 years, Kruger Products has generously donated all of the household paper products to 14 RMHC houses across Canada – bathroom tissue, paper towels, facial tissue and napkins. This donation allows the houses to use funds for other needs beyond bare essentials. It helps them provide other amenities and support programs for families dealing with difficult situations. Kruger Products has even encouraged suppliers to support RMHC, which has resulted in volunteer time at different houses on behalf of Kruger Products, such as preparing dinner for families staying the house so they don’t have to worry about dinner after spending a day at the hospital with their loved one.

Nature Canada: On the sustainability side, Kruger Products has been an Official Sponsor of Nature Canada since 2006 through its White Swan brand and supports its efforts to conserve and enhance Canada’s natural diversity of plant and animal species and their habitats. “Given that we depend on natural resources for our ongoing operations, after all, paper, even if it’s recycled, is made from trees, we are serious about our commitment to preserving our environment and using natural resources responsibly.”

Continuing the Legacy

EarthdayKruger Products indeed has a number of long-term community engagement initiatives on the go, but that hasn’t stopped it from embarking on new programs and extending its ability to make a difference, such as the STAO partnership. Additionally, in 2012, Kruger Products became an Official Partner of Earth Day Canada (EDC), which has included a variety of joint activities, from a consumer awareness program about identifying truly green products; annual sponsorship of EDC’s Commitment to the Environment award; support of its annual gala fundraiser; and education and awareness projects through various industry events and media opportunities.

Most recently, EDC and Kruger Products have worked together to develop an awareness program about simple changes people can make in their lives to help protect the environment without making any real sacrifices to their lifestyle. Knowing that people look online for information about green products, this program harnesses the power of social media as it is run through EnviroCare’s Facebook page. EnviroCare is Canada’s first line of premium, 100% recycled household paper products, so you don’t have to sacrifice on quality while being environmentally friendly.

What’s Does the Future Hold?

Kruger Products says that it will always look for ways to share what it learns with stakeholders because it’s become part of its culture to do so.

Continued thought leadership. Kruger Products says that it will always look for ways to share what it learns with stakeholders because it’s become part of its culture to do so. Sometimes that’s holding an information session at one of its plants to share new technology, sometimes that means being part of a panel or round table discussion, and sometimes that means working with third-party organizations to help educate a particular stakeholder group. But whatever the format, it will definitely be part of Kruger Products’ future.

To learn more about Kruger Products please visit their homebase in the TSSS Innovation HUB.

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