New Kimberly-Clark policy is a victory for Ancient Forests

Kleercut campaign ends as company’s new sustainability policy places it among industry leaders

Feature story - August 5, 2009
Greenpeace and countless activists have asked Kimberly-Clark (K-C) to help save the Boreal forest since 2004, when the Kleercut campaign was launched. In a tremendous victory for ancient forests, including the Boreal, the company that makes popular brands like Kleenex, Scott, and Cottonelle has announced a new policy that places it among the industry leaders in sustainability, bringing the Kleercut campaign to a successful completion.

Kimberly-Clark has set a goal of obtaining 100 percent of the wood fiber 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 fiber. Also by 2011, Kimberly-Clark will eliminate any fiber from the North American Boreal Forest that is not FSC-certified.

"The revised standards are proof that when responsible companies and environmental advocates come together, the results can be good for business and good for the planet," said Scott Paul, Greenpeace USA Forest Campaign Director. "Kimberly-Clark's efforts are a challenge to its competitors. I hope they pay close attention."

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

The Canadian Boreal Forest is North America's largest ancient forest, providing habitat for threatened wildlife such as woodland caribou and over 1 billion migratory birds.

But clearcutting doesn't just wipe out the biodiversity of a forest - it wipes out an essential carbon storehouse. Canada's Boreal Forest stores an estimate 186 billion tones of carbon, 27 times the world's annual fossil fuel emissions -- meaning that a victory for the Boreal is also a victory for the climate.

While protecting the North American Boreal Forest has been a focus of the Kleercut campaign, K-C's policy is about protecting Endangered Forests the world over. Greenpeace would not have agreed to anything less.

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 and Georgia Pacific, that creating a policy that protects ancient forests is a key element of sustainable business.

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