Action reports

Kimberly-Clark and Greenpeace agree to historic measures to protect forests

Canada's Boreal Forest
5 August 2009: Kimberly-Clark releases new environmental policy.

The Kleercut campaign is over.

Canada's precious Boreal Forest is better conserved today. So are ancient forests around the world.

At a joint news conference in Washington DC, Greenpeace and the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the world’s largest tissue-product manufacturer, announced an historic agreement that will ensure greater protection and sustainable management of Canada's Boreal Forest and other ancient forests around the world.

The agreement also will stand out as a model for forest-products companies worldwide.

Protection for the Boreal Forest in Canada

Canada's Boreal Forest is North America’s largest ancient forest and provides habitat for threatened wildlife such as woodland caribou, wolverine and over one billion migratory birds. The new agreement ensures that Kimberly-Clark, which makes Kleenex-brand products, will no longer be purchasing pulp from the three million hectare (7.4 million acre) Kenogami and Ogoki Forests in northern Ontario unless strict ecological criteria are met. These two areas within key zones of intact forest have been at the center of the Kleercut campaign.

Now, Greenpeace and Kimberly-Clark are moving away from conflict to a new collaborative relationship to further promote forest conservation, responsible forest management, and the use of recycled fiber for the manufacture of tissue products.

Kenogami Forest

The power of activists and market pressure

Greenpeace's Kleercut campaign was launched in November 2004.

This campaign to help protect ancient forests in Canada and globally applied pressure on the company via the marketplace and its large customers and consumers. In order to highlight the issue, hundreds of protests took place globally, resulting in more than 50 activists arrested in acts of peaceful civil disobedience. Scientific and exposé reports, media mobilization and shareholder engagement were also an important part of the campaign.

Revisit the campaign via a photo timeline

This work and dedication reached a successful conclusion with Kimberly-Clark’s release of the strongest paper policy by one of the world’s top three tissue product manufacturers.

Implementing the Kimberly-Clark policy

Implementation of the policy will lead to protection of the world’s most endangered forests, increased support for sustainable forest management through Forest Stewardship Council certification and the increased use of recycled fiber in Kimberly-Clark products.

During the evolution of this policy, Kimberly-Clark stopped buying more than 325,000 tonnes of pulp a year from logging operations in the Kenogami and Ogoki Forests. The company managing these forests was unwilling to protect endangered forest areas in them and supply Kimberly-Clark with Forest Stewardship Council certified pulp.

Intact Forests in Western Canada

The Boreal Forest and climate change

Protection of the Boreal Forest is crucial to world efforts to stop climate change. This forest is the largest terrestrial storehouse of carbon on the planet, storing 27 years worth of greenhouse gas emissions or 186 billion tonnes. If this carbon is released into the atmosphere it will add to the threat of catastrophic climate change.

Big increase to recycled and FSC fibre use
Under the policy Kimberly-Clark has set a goal of ensuring that 100 per cent of the fibre used in its products will be from environmentally responsible sources. It will greatly increase its use of recycled fibre and fibre from forest certified to Forest Stewardship Council standards. By 2011, it will also increase the use of recycled and FSC fibre for North American products to 40 per cent from 29.7 per cent in 2007. By 2012, the company will no longer use pulp from the Boreal Forest unless is it certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council.

The full policy and its annex can be downloaded here

Please join us in thanking Kimberly-Clark for supporting conservation of the Boreal Forest by sending its CEO a congratulations email.

To see an archive of the campaign click the links below and in the top bar.

Video: Kids Say No to Kleenex

Earth School kids send a video message to Kimberly-Clark.


Students from a New York school learned about the Kleercut campaign—the forest, habitat, and ecosystem destruction caused by Kleenex brand and parent-company Kimberly-Clark—and took matters into their own hands. They conducted their own research on alternative tissue brands and implemented the “Kleenex-free policy” at their school. Taking their campaign a step further, the students, their teacher, and a parent, created a video about what they do at their school—ride the Pedal-A-Watt bike to generate electricity, ride the see-saw pump to water the garden, and compost kitchen scraps—and what they do not do at their school—Use Kleenex!

University of Florida Gives KC the Boot

University of Florida Green TeamThe University of Florida has removed Kleenex brand tissues in its campus stores because they are made with virgin fiber, much of which is sourced from the North American Boreal forest--one of our last remaining ancient forests.

“The removal of Kimberly-Clark products from our university is a strong sign that the company is not producing an environmentally sound product,” said Alex Klein, UF junior and student activist. “Kimberly-Clark claims to be an environmentally responsible company, but it uses wood pulp that is clearcut from the Boreal to make throwaway products like tissues and toilet paper. The University of Florida showed that universities can use their purchasing power to demand that Kimberly-Clark use recycled paper and stop wiping away ancient forests for disposable paper products.”

”UF already has an environmentally-progressive procurement policy and therefore we do not purchase Kimberly-Clark products on campus. I plan to continue to educate people individually about the Kleercut campaign and set a good example through my own actions,” said Klein.

New Kimberly-Clark Office Locked Down by Greenpeace Movers

Cut & Run

We all know Kimberly-Clark (K-C) does not use recycled fiber content in their products. As the world’s largest tissue producer this behavior contributes to the destruction of ancient forests essential in fighting climate change and providing habitat for native wildlife.

This morning, in Franklin, Massachusetts, Greenpeace activists, dressed as movers, welcomed the Kimberly-Clark employees as they moved into their new office space, moving in boxes of products containing recycled content. Activists then locked down to while inside the building only willing to leave if K-C agreed to sign a pledge to protect forests and use recycled content in Kleenex. It's time for K-C to change more than office space.

More photos are available here.

Greenpeace Activists Launch Blockade at Kimberly-Clark facility in Connecticut

Blockade by activists halts trucks entering and leaving New Milford Kleenex facility

Cut & Run

As we all know, Kimberly-Clark refuses to stop destroying ancient forests to make Kleenex, Scott and Cottonelle products. Since the company has been unwilling to create a fiber policy that increases the use of recycled fiber and because they continue to destroy ancient forests, Kleercut activists today launched a blockade at KC’s New Milford, Connecticut facility. This massive plant accounts for 40% of the Kleenex and Scott products for the United States; most products made here contain little or no recycled fiber.

The blockade started around 11:00 AM local time when three activists locked themselves to the South Gate of Kimberly-Clark’s facility, halting truck traffic into and out of the gate. In the meantime, two activists distributed tree seedlings with an attached note that read: “We know Kimberly-Clark can do better. Here is a start.” onto cars in the employee parking lot. The fact sheet distributed at the same time requests KC employees “ask KC to be an environmental leader,” given, as a paper company, its responsibility to protect the forests.

Greenpeace Confronts Cottonelle in Philly

Cottonelle Tour a Forest Crime Scene

The Cottonelle dog-bus showed up in Philadelphia, and – like New York just weeks ago – Greenpeace was there to stand up for ancient forests. This time the strange looking dog-bus was parked across from Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Cottonelle-hawking marketers invited passersby to come aboard the bus to talk about butts and, of course, buy Cottonelle.

Is Cottonelle coming to a town near you? Send us an alert and help us track the Tour!

New York Soils Cottonelle Ad Blitz

When tissue giant and forest destroyer Kimberly-Clark launched a $100 million advertising blitz for its Cottonelle brand, activists were there to greet them on the first day.

Cottenelle Destroys Ancient Forests

The set-up was as silly as it was expensive: Cottonelle paid for a strange-looking dog-bus filled with public relations folks to tour New York City and urging people to “be kind to your behind.” This, apparently, was supposed to sell toilet paper.

But things don’t always go smoothly when you are selling products that destroy ancient forests. Before long, people began asking Cottonelle reps tough questions about the Boreal forest, recycled fiber and other issues they’d rather ignore. Cottonelle’s day spiraled down the drain from there.

Four activists arrested while protesting against Kimberly-Clark in Canada’s top shopping mall

Greenpeace activist arrested protesting destruction of Canada's Boreal Forest

High profile companies like Kimberly-Clark, Sears, and Best Buy accused of fuelling the destruction of Canada’s Boreal Forest

March 27, 2008 Four Greenpeace activists have been arrested after attempting to unfurl a massive 3.1 x 34 metre banner inside Toronto’s Eaton Center. The message: “Sears, Best Buy, Indigo Books, Toys “R” Us, Canadian Tire and Kleenex = Boreal Forest Destruction.”

Kleenex Strikes Out at Wrigley Field

Remember when a Kleenex commercial crew was surprised by Greenpeace activists in New York City this spring? Well, it’s happened again.

Kleercut banner and couch

This time, Kimberly-Clark showed up outside Wrigley Field – home of the Chicago Cubs. As usual, they invited the public to sit on a couch and "let it out" to a fake shrink. What they didn’t consider was the irony of advertising Kleenex at a Cubs game while destroying habitat for cubs (and bears) in the Boreal Forest.

You could say they walked right into the pitch.

Kimberly-Clark a Bad Investment

Kimberly-Clark, Bad Investment

At the Bank of America Annual Investor Conference that wraps up today in San Francisco, Kimberly-Clark was singled out as a bad investment. On Monday activists gathered outside of the Ritz-Carlton with Kleercut banners and shirts conveying to investors the failure of Kimberly-Clark to protect the Boreal forest. In addition to the presence outside each hotel guest received a copy of the spoofed conference newsletter. After explaining Bank of America's role in funding environmentally destructive practices the newsletter went on to highlight Kimberly-Clark as an unsustainable company to avoid.

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