Campaign buzz

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!

US Recycled Tissue Guide Released

Avoid Kleenex, Viva, Scott, Cottonelle, and others

US Tissue Guide

Americans could save more than 400,000 trees if each family bought a roll of recycled toilet paper—just once. Recycled tissue products help protect ancient forests, clean water, and wildlife habitat and yet some companies still make products with no recycled content.

Tissue products are used once and then thrown or flushed away. Buying products made with post-consumer recycled content that have not been bleached with chlorine compounds reduces our impact on ancient forests and the broader environment.

Greenpeace surveyed companies that make toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels, and paper napkins available to US consumers to find out which of the products met our criteria. Visit our online version of the guide or read on to learn more about the criteria used to compare products.

Flip through the full Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide

The Australian Otway forests saved from Kimberly-Clark

OREN publishes website documenting their victory

How do you stop Kimberly-Clark from turning valuable native forests into Kleenex? Just take a look at this new website from Otway Ranges Environment Network (OREN). The site provides an historical overview of this landmark campaign to protect the Otway forests, in Victoria, Australia.

From 1995-2008 the “refuse to use Kleenex tissues” campaign fought to save the Otway forests from becoming woodchips for Kimberly-Clark toilet paper and tissues. Through OREN’s perseverance, consumer awareness activities, and the support of communities and area residents, the campaign led to the protection of the Otway forests within the Great Otway National Park. The campaign’s final victory has ensured that clearfell logging and woodchipping of all native forest on public land in the Otways is banned and illegal.

Stockpile of Ogoki Logs Destined for Terrace Bay and Kimberly-Clark

Cut & Run

Photo and video released today reveal the existence of a massive stockpile of old-growth logs that are destined to become disposable products like Kleenex tissue and Cottonelle toilet paper for tissue giant Kimberly-Clark Corporation (K-C). The logs originate from the Ogoki Forest, the single most ecologically valuable area left in Ontario’s southern Boreal Forest and the site of growing controversy.

The stockpile is evidence of Kimberly-Clark’s egregious mismanagement of the forests despite company claims that “much of [the] fiber from the Canadian Boreal forest comes to K-C in the form of wood pulp produced from sawdust and chips – or leftovers – of the lumber production process.”

Greenpeace Report: Kimberly-Clark's Failed Policies Devastate Forest

Cut & Run

A new Greenpeace report reveals that Kimberly-Clark devastated Ontario’s Kenogami Forest while promoting itself as a leader in environmental and social responsibility.

Download the report now and take action.

Cut and Run uses government information, independent audits, public records, and satellite mapping to document Kimberly-Clark’s management and logging of the Kenogami Forest near Thunder Bay, Ontario. It details how, in just 70 years, the Kenogami Forest has been turned from a vast expanse of healthy, near-pristine forest, to a severely damaged landscape rife with social and environmental problems--largely to make products that are used once and then thrown away.

Kimberly-Clark Declared Greenwasher by Ethical Corporation Magazine

This week Kimberly-Clark was featured in UK based Ethical Corporation Magazine. Here's an excerpt, you can read the full article or subscribe to their emails.

"According to Dave Challis, Kimberly-Clark's "sustainability manager" for Europe: "Working with the Carbon Trust is a perfect fit with our overall sustainability policies. We have long held objectives to reduce carbon emissions through our 'Vision' global environmental programme and this is an extension of that work. For Kimberly-Clark, exploring how the entire retail industry reaches a common measurement for carbon emissions is vital and we are delighted to be involved at this early stage."

Sounds marvellous, doesn't it? Is this the same Kimberly-Clark that has been widely condemned for its indiscriminate pillaging of the ancient North American Boreal Forest? According to environmentalists, Kimberly-Clark has gobbled wood from forests in Ontario for more than 70 years, driving massive clearcutting and environmental degradation.

Greenpeace Recycled Tissue Guide for iPhone, Android, and mobile phones

Earlier this year we introduced the Greenpeace Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide and the popularity of the guide inspired us to make an iPhone, Android, and mobile version.

Our new iPhone application can be downloaded from iTunes or the Android market or you can view the guide on your mobile phone at www.3rdwhale.com/greenpeace/wap. The tool created by 3rd Whale, gives consumers a quick and easy way to choose the greenest toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, and paper napkins sold at US supermarkets. For people interested in protecting ancient forests from clearcutting and supporting truly sustainable companies, this application makes informed decision making easy.

Video: Kleenex Comes with More than a Feeling

A couple weeks ago, Greenpeace released a video called“What's inside your box of Kleenex?” As the largest tissue company in the world, Kimberly-Clark doesn't have a policy for using recycled content in their consumer paper products, which include Kleenex, Scott, Cottonelle, and Viva. Worse yet, the company also sources some of its wood pulp from virgin forest, including some of the last remaining ancient Boreal forests in North America. That’s the dirty secret about what’s inside every box of Kleenex: ancient forests.

Kimberly-Clark has launched a big marketing campaign to try and tell consumers that it "Feels good to feel" their tissues. But with virgin forest in every box, Kleenex comes with more than a feeling.

Check out the video we made to get the word out:

Video: What's in Your Box of Kleenex?

In February we released the Greenpeace Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide and the story traveled the globe in The New York Times, The Guardian, The International Herald Tribune, and hundreds of other media outlets.

One of the questions that we were asked time and again was, "Do my tissue and toilet paper purchases really make a difference?"

The answer is YES, but don't take our word for it. Here is what is in your box of Kleenex...

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