How long has Greenpeace been running its Kleercut campaign and
Greenpeace launched its international Kleercut campaign on
November 18, 2004 to convince Kimberly-Clark to reduce its impact
on ancient forest and increase its use of fiber harvested through
environmentally responsible practices. An archive of the campaign
can be viewed at www.kleercut.net/en
The campaign launch followed the release of the Canadian
Shopper's Guide to Forest Friendly Tissue Products in April 2004.
At the time of the launch of the Kleercut campaign, more than 22
per cent of Kimberly-Clark's global fiber supply was from Canada's
Boreal Forest. The company was also using pulp originating from the
coastal temperate rainforests of BC and the US Pacific
Kimberly-Clark had been purchasing hundreds of thousands of
tonnes of pulp from logging operations that were clearcutting and
fragmenting forests, degrading wildlife habitat and generally
practising unsustainable forestry. The company was using very
little Forest Stewardship Council certified fibre and small amounts
of recycled fibre.
What is the Canadian Boreal Forest?
Canada's Boreal Forest is North America's largest ancient
forest. The forest provides habitat to threatened species such as
woodland caribou, bald and golden eagles, wolverine and more than
one billion birds, many of them migratory.
More than 60 per cent has been allocated to forestry companies
for development. Less than 10 per cent of the Boreal Forest is
formally protected. In provinces such as Ontario and Quebec, much
of the commercial forest has already been fragmented and degraded
by clearcuts and logging roads.
Canada's Boreal Forest is the world's largest storehouse of
terrestrial carbon. It 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. Recent scientific reports
have revealed that older and intact forests store more carbon than
young, recently cut forests. Intact forests, particularly ones
extending over thousands of square kilometres, better mitigate the
impacts of climate change.
What provinces of Canada was Kimberly-Clark purchasing
At the launch of Greenpeace's campaign, Kimberly-Clark was
purchasing pulp from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan,
Ontario and Nova Scotia. It owned pulp mills in Terrace Bay,
Ontario and Pictou Nova Scotia and managed forests such as the
Kenogami Forest in Ontario, where it operated for more than 75
What have been some elements of this campaign?
There were a number of elements to the Kleercut campaign:
consumer education and mobilization, corporate boycott pressure,
scientific and solutions reports, institutional shareholder
engagement and peaceful civil disobedience.
Greenpeace worked to educate the general public about the
threats to the Boreal Forest and to other ancient forests. Forest
campaigners also initiated discussions with major customers of
Kimberly-Clark to convince them to help put pressure on the
company. These customers included college and university campuses,
movie theatre chains, grocery stores, hotels and alpine resorts.
Greenpeace worked with shareholders, including socially responsible
investment companies, to engage stockholders in requesting changes
of Kimberly-Clark. Finally, the organization used peaceful civil
disobedience to alert the company officials to its impact on the
Does this mean the campaign is over?
Yes, the campaign is over. The company has released a new
environmental fiber policy that governs how it will conserve
forests and support sustainable forestry and the use of recycled
fibre. As we have moved into a new collaborative relationship with
Kimberly-Clark, there is no more need for a public campaign.
Greenpeace very much welcomes the opportunity to work with
Kimberly-Clark in the future.
Why did Greenpeace and Kimberly-Clark reach agreement?
Kimberly-Clark recognized that it could do better and wished to
show leadership on this important environmental issue. We reached
agreement on what steps needed to be taken and agree that working
collaboratively is more fruitful than being in conflict.
What impacts will this policy have on the forests of
Kimberly-Clark's size as pulp purchaser (its uses more than
three million tonnes of virgin fiber and 1.5 million tonnes of
recycled fibre annually) means its policy will have a very large
impact on forests globally. It will mean more hectares of forest
protected on the ground and better forest management.
Kimberly-Clark's new approach to forest conservation and
responsible management is already having an impact on forests in
Canada and this will be expanded into the future. For example, the
company no longer uses any pulp from the three million hectare (7.4
million acre) Kenogami and Ogoki Forests in northern Ontario.
Kimberly-Clark had been using pulp from these forests for over 75
years and, up until 2005, had owned the pulp mill located in
Terrace Bay for decades. Today, Kimberly-Clark has stopped
purchasing pulp from this area, because the current forest manager
and mill owner was unwilling to protect endangered forest areas and
unwilling to responsibly manage the forest by achieving Forest
Stewardship Council certification.
In the future, the policy will mean that the most ecologically
important areas of the forests from which Kimberly-Clark purchases
pulp will be protected from development. The policy and its
implementation will lead to the increased use of recycled fiber and
a decrease in pressure on natural forests, which has many benefits
for wildlife and for the climate. The policy will increase the
responsible management of forests and we will see more forests
certified to the strict standards of the Forest Stewardship Council
as a result. By setting increasing targets for environmentally
responsible fiber, the policy will also give a boost to recycling
rates in North America and elsewhere by increasing demand for
What does this mean for the global climate?
The impact of this policy and announcement is significant for
fighting climate change. The policy protects the most valuable
areas of forests from logging and degradation - these areas would
include large intact forests which are proven to store more carbon
and are best able to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The
policy also promotes the use of recycled fiber which has been shown
to use less energy and thus produce less greenhouse gases. Most
importantly, the policy is a challenge to other paper producers to
step up and show leadership on the issue of forest conservation and
What are the highlights of the new policy and fiber sourcing
- Not use any fiber from Endangered Forests or High Conservation
Value Forest (HCVF) areas mapped as no-harvest zones
- Give purchasing preference to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
certified fiber over any other virgin wood fiber. This will mean
that KC will continue to increase its use of environmentally
preferred FSC fibre.
- Phase out its use of non-FSC certified fiber from Canada's
Boreal Forest by the end of 2011 decreasing from over 400,000
tonnes in 2007 to 0 tonnes in 2012.
- Increase its use of FSC and recycled fiber drastically over the
next two years so that at least 40 per cent of the total fiber used
in North American products comes from one of these sources - an
increase from 29.7 per cent at the end of 2008. This represents
600,000 tonnes of fibre. It will continue to increase the use of
this fibre into the future.
- Give preference to post-consumer recycled fiber over
pre-consumer recycled fiber
- Ban the use of conflict wood and wood coming from operations
that have broken national and international laws
- Support programs to identify and map Endangered Forests and
HCVF areas and increase recycling rates
- Avoid suppliers who do not respect human rights.
- Put in place strong annual reporting and verification measures
including the right to cancel contracts if suppliers are out of
compliance with the policy.
The full policy can be downloaded from: www.kimberly-clark.com
When will these new measures take place?
Given the size of Kimberly-Clark, it cannot change its
environmental footprint overnight. The two-year targets it has set
are aggressive and this will mean a decreased impact almost
immediately. With the other measures in the policy, we will see
more Endangered Forest areas protected in the short term. The
impact of this policy and its implementation will be very great,
given the company's size. We expect that many global pulp and paper
suppliers will change the way they do logging within two years in
order to meet the demands of this policy.
How will Kimberly-Clark verify that its suppliers are following
Kimberly-Clark is initiating a rigorous verification process and
ensuring that new long-term contracts with its suppliers allow for
and require enforcement and compliance with this policy.
Does this mean that Kleenex facial tissue is now
Currently Kleenex facial tissue in the UK is FSC-certified. It
is our understanding that Kleenex facial tissue in the United
States and Canada will become FSC-certified.
Will KC continue to publish two-year targets for FSC and
Yes. By the end of the 2nd quarter of each year, the company
will publish revised two-year targets for the combined use of FSC
and Recycled fiber. We expect that it will continue to increase the
use of both forms of fiber beyond 2011. The company has a long-term
goal of 100 per cent recycled or FSC certified fibre.
What consumer products in North America have recycled fiber in
Currently the following Kimberly-Clark consumer products have
recycled fiber in them: Scott Naturals toilet paper (40 per cent
recycled), Scott Naturals napkins (80 per cent recycled) and paper
towels (60 per cent recycled), Kleenex Naturals (20 per cent
What does this mean for other tissue product
Greenpeace believes this is one of the strongest paper policies
in the world and a challenge to the other major tissue product
manufacturers such as Georgia Pacific and Procter and Gamble. We
hope that these companies will follow suit and put forward real
policies that protect ancient forests and promote the use of
recycled and FSC-certified fiber.