Americans arrested protesting destructive logging in Ontario’s Boreal Forest Barricade in place at Kleenex manufacturer’s office in Tennessee

Feature story - August 13, 2008
Greenpeace activists are now barricading themselves to the entrance of Kimberly-Clark’s office in Knoxville, Tennessee to protest the company’s destruction of Ontario’s Boreal Forest.

Activists Deploy Banner and Lock Down Knoxville Office.

This is the sixth of a string of US protests to highlight Ontario's Kenogami and Ogoki forests, where clearcut logging is wiping out important carbon stores and endangered woodland caribou habitat. In total 27 activists have been arrested in these protests.

Kimberly-Clark purchases large amounts of pulp from these forests northeast of Thunder Bay, using it to manufacture Kleenex facial tissues, toilet paper, and other disposable consumer products. Today, activists have deployed a 30' x 20' foot banner that reads: "Kleenex: Wiping Away Ancient Forests."

"Americans are risking jail time to stop Kimberly-Clark from destroying vital forests in Ontario," said Christy Ferguson, Greenpeace forests campaigner. "As long as these key areas continue to be destroyed, international protest and controversy will continue."

 

Kimberly-Clark holds itself up as an exemplary corporate citizen, a company doing its utmost toprotect the environment and benefit communities. But Cut and Run reveals that the company'spolicies and practices have caused severe environmental damage and social conflict in Canada'sBoreal Forest.

Key findings

  • Kimberly-Clark uses hundreds of thousands of tonnes of tree fibre from the Kenogami Forest every year to produce disposable tissue products, including Kleenex.
  • Kimberly-Clark directly managed and logged the Kenogami Forest for 71 years, from 1937 to 2004.
  • Since Kimberly-Clark started logging there, 71 per cent of the Kenogami Forest has been fragmented. Woodland caribou have been driven out of 67 per cent of the forest, and wolverines have completely disappeared from its boundaries.

 

In the past three months, Greenpeace activists across the US have used lockdowns, banners and blockades at Kimberly-Clark facilities in Franklin, Massachusetts; New Milford, Connecticut; Chicago, Illinois; Fullerton, California; Roswell, Georgia; and now Knoxville, Tennessee to expose the Kleenex manufacturer's irresponsible practices.

These recent activities are the latest in Greenpeace's three-year-long campaign against Kimberly-Clark, which has included shareholder activism and major business contract cancellations as well as civil disobedience in Canada, the US, and Italy.

Greenpeace is demanding that the company increase its use of recycled content, and stop sourcing from intact and endangered forests, including woodland caribou habitat.

" Cut and Run," a recent Greenpeace report, documents the company's devastation of the Kenogami Forest. In just 70 years, Kimberly-Clark turned this vast expanse of healthy, near-pristine forest into a severely damaged landscape rife with social and environmental problems⎯largely to make toilet paper and facial tissue. Kimberly-Clark no longer directly manages the Kenogami Forest, but it continues to buy massive amounts of pulp from the forest and the adjacent Ogoki forest, both managed by Buchanan Forest Products Ltd.

While Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty recently promised to protect a significant area of the Boreal Forest in Ontario's far north, key areas including Kenogami and Ogoki continue to be unprotected. These carbon-dense, biologically diverse southern areas of the Boreal Forest are being clearcut at an alarming pace.

Kimberly-Clark is the largest tissue manufacturer in the world, producing millions of tons of tissue products annually and generating net sales of $18.3 billion. Greenpeace is calling on Kimberly-Clark to stop purchasing pulp from destructive logging operations in Canada's Boreal Forest and to increase its use of recycled materials.

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