Yuhan Kimberly, Ltd.

The belief of better life

Thursday 29 September 2011, by Dayoon Yoon, Dongmei Zhao 赵东梅, Helen Chen 陈旸, Julie Tang 唐莉

28 inspired

a) The main facts about the activities of the company.

Yuhan-Kimberly is a joint venture of Yuhan Corporation and Kimberly-Clark. The founder of Yuhan Corporation, Mr. Yuhan New believed that ?profit-seeking is worthwhile only when it results not just in individual wealth but also in national prosperity?. The company has been listed one of the most respectful companies in South Korea since recent 7 years. The main products of Yuhan-Kimberly are personal care products such as tissues, diapers, and feminine hygiene products. Yuhan-Kimberly emphasizes on sustainability in terms of society, economy, and environment. The solved moral dilemma with Korean government in 1970; they went through the economic crisis in 1997; and they insisted on the ?Keep Korea Green? campaign for 26 years. In 2010, they achieved the annual revenue $11 billion, the net income $80 million and exported product to 48 countries.

b) The ethical challenges this company is addressing.

In 1970, one year before the death of Yuhan New, Yuhan Corporation entered into a joint venture with Kimberly-Clark, one of the world?s leading manufactures of personal care products. The venture was motivated more by politics than economics: At that time, South Korea was ruled under the dictatorial government, it was almost impossible for companies to survive without currying governmental favor. The founder Yuhan New faced a terrible choice: either to protect his company by paying bribes to the government, or to protect his integrity then put his company in danger. Finally, Mr. New came up with a creative solution: since Korean was a staunch American ally. Mr. New figured that it would be impossible for the government to pressure a local company that had a joint venture with a major US corporation. So the joint venture with Kimberly?Clark successfully solved the ethical dilemma.

c) What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it.

Personally, the most negative aspect of capitalism is that company exploits the employees. The company just fire employees when they are useless. However, Yuhan Kimberly tries to keep employees right which is based on human esteem. During Currency Crisis period ( which is one of the most serious economic crisis in Korea in 1997, resulting in over 26 million unemployment and mass bankrupt of companies ) no one was fired in Yuhan Kimberly. All employers and employees made an effort together to go through harsh time by implementing a shift and cutting off their salary voluntarily. The company still keep providing favorable work environment and job security, making 95% of employees satisfied with the their job. (According to questionnaire 2011)

d) The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

In 1984, Yuhan-Kimberly embarked on a Keep Korea Green Campaign, one kind of social responsibility campaign. They want to use this campaign to build a healthy social image, which will create sale volume for the company. This campaign was skeptical by the public in the beginning. However, after insisting on it twenty years, the company builds a successful and unique social image with an increasing sales achievement. Almost 90% of consumers were willing to pay a premium for the products of environmentally-friendly companies
However, along with reorganization by the public, other company began to imitate the same activity. Therefore the company faced the challenge whether they should continue the ?keep Korea Green? campaign to connect or they should build another campaign. We think the realistic method is to use the current green image to expand their product line in short term. But in the long-run, they will build a new one, such as the birthrate project, to expand their business capacity.


Report— Yuhan Kimberly

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1 Discussion / 1 Message

  • Yuhan Kimberly, sustainable journey 5 October 2012 at 10:54 , by Kathy Wu

    Same as the Author, I feel I am inspired by this study article about Yuhan Kimberly for its corporate value, consistence and performance since establishment.

    Kimberly is one of the well-known personal care brand nowadays and we can find list of products in supermarkets. Either its advertisement or feeling of using their product, all deliver kind of comfortable care from a consumer perspective.

    It is interesting the purpose to set Yuhan Kimberly as JV by the private founder was to avoid bribing Korea government officers. A practical but clearly ethical start. Yuhan Kimberly, as one of the most respectful companies in Korea for consecutive years, I am a bit supprised for its performance from various aspects as healthy profitability, unbelievable 95% employee satisfaction, high moral ethics and sustainable developments. They care their employees, customers and society. During financial crisis Yuhua Kimberly did not fire any employees, and they also offer their customers with green products portfolio by setting exemplary image in the society more than 20 years ago.

    And, they are not supposed to stop. With more social engagement and increasing awareness on environment, Yuhan Kimberly, as personal care company, will further strengthen their core value for their consumers and societies with more green and healthy portfolio of products, which is critical for napkin, diaper and feminine products. And, this would also help company generate more sustainable profit.

    I do expect to watch their ongoing sustainable journey.

Location: Soul (republic of korea)

Sector: paper industry-personal hygiene item, facial tissues, toilet paper etc.

Official website: http://www.yuhan.co.kr/Eng-Main.asp , www.yuhan-kimberly.co.kr

Key figures:

Key features: Annual Revenue in 2010 : 11billion(USD); Net income in 2010 : 80million(USD); Export product to 48 countries;

Key events: Joint venture with Kimberly in 1970; Economic Crises in 1997; ?Keep Korea Green? Campaign for 26 years.

Nbr. visits: 4610

Nbr. inspires: 28