Well, I had intended on writing this post as a way to highlight a movement called Kleercut. This movement was launched in 2004 by Greenpeace as a way of holding big-name-brand Kimberly Clark accountable for their actions (outlined below) that were devastating the environment. But when I went to check up on the movement today, I came across some very VERY good news!
That's right! The mission was successful! Read on to learn more.
What was the company doing?
Formerly, as many of you will be aware of/remember, Kleenex brand tissues advertised that they were made from "100% Virgin Fibre!"; this was advertised everywhere they were in print. This means they were using straight up, non-recycled, fresh cut trees from the ancient forests (such as the Boreal Forest). In fact, most (if not all) of Kimberly Clark's products were made this way. With this method of production, the math worked out to this insane (but true) statistic: It takes 90 years to grow ONE BOX of Kleenex. 90 years! And that's just the impact that was being made by the one brand name.
Thankfully, that's no longer the case for Kimberly Clark! They've taken some drastic, exciting, industry leading action.
What is Kimberly Clark doing now?
Here's the official press release:
"Washington, D.C., United States — Greenpeace and countless activists [yours truly included] 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.
Woo-hoo!!! So with that, how about a BIG round of applause for Kimberly Clark! I think it's important that we all take a moment to say thank you to Kimberly Clark for taking appropriate action to protect our ancient forests!