Victory for the Boreal Forest! Kimberly-Clark announces new paper policy

Feature story - 5 August, 2009
It is finally time to celebrate a major victory for the Boreal Forest! Kimberly-Clark has, as a result of public pressure, released a new environmental fibre policy that governs how it will help conserve forests and support sustainable forestry and use more recycled fibre.

The Boreal forest is the largest intact forest ecosystem in North America.

For the past five years, our campaign has been supported by tens of thousands of activists and hundreds of companies, to demand that Kimberly-Clark (K-C) stop destroying ancient forests like the Boreal Forest. In this tremendous victory for ancient forests,  the company that is known for its popular brands like Kleenex, Scott, and Cottonelle has announced a policy that places it among the industry leaders in sustainability. This announcement brings the Kleercut campaign to a successful completion.

What we can expect from the new policy

Kimberly-Clark has set a goal of obtaining 100 percent of the wood fibre used in its products - including the flagship brand Kleenex - from environmentally responsible sources. By 2011, Kimberly-Clark will ensure that 40 percent of its North American fiber is either recycled or certified by the Forest Stewardship Council™(FSC®) - a 71 percent increase from 2007 levels, representing over 600,000 tonnes of fibre. Also by 2011, it will eliminate any fiber from the North American Boreal Forest that is not FSC®-certified.

Because of K-C's place in the paper products market, the company's new policy will send a strong signal to its competitors, Procter & Gamble, SCA, and Georgia Pacific, that creating a policy that protects ancient forests is a key element of sustainable business.

K-C's sustainability policy: Not just about protecting the Boreal

The Canadian Boreal Forest is North America's largest ancient forest and provides habitat to threatened species such as woodland caribou, bald and golden eagles, wolverine and more than one billion birds, many of them migratory. Sadly, more than 60 percent of the Boreal has already been allocated to forestry companies for development and less than 10 percent of the Boreal Forest is formally protected. Unfortunately, in provinces such as Ontario and Quebec, much of the commercial forest has already been fragmented and degraded by clearcuts and logging roads...

But clear-cutting in forests doesn't just wipe out biodiversity - it wipes out an essential carbon storehouse. The Boreal Forest is the world's largest storehouse of terrestrial carbon. The Canadian Boreal stores an estimated 186 billion tonnes of carbon, or more than 27 years worth of global greenhouse gas emissions. Protecting and managing the forest responsibly is essential for fighting climate change. Intact forests, particularly ones extending over thousands of square kilometres, better mitigate the impacts of climate change. The fight to protect the Boreal and forests globally is far from over.

Protecting forests and tackling climate change

We still need world leaders to agree on the funding required to end deforestation at this years Climate Summit in Copenhagen.

Greenpeace is calling for developed world governments to provide US 140 billion a year to tackle the climate crisis, to fund both mitigation and adaptation measures in developing countries. Approximately US 40 billion a year of this should be designated to forest protection. The funds would be provided in return for a commitment to stop deforestation globally by 2020.

Take action!

World leaders must take personal responsibility to agree strong global deal at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December 2009 in order to avert catastrophic climate change.

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