Kimberly-Clark & WWF Reach Agreement on Ethical Paper Sourcing

The critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan
The critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan

Last week WWF and Kimberly-Clark (the maker of Kleenex tissues, Huggies diapers, and VIVA paper towels), announced the paper consumer products giant’s expansion of its involvement in curbing illegal logging and preserving threatened forests around the world.  For WWF, the agreement allows the NGO to work with local people to conserve forests for both people and wildlife that rely on such lands.  Kimberly-Clark, on the other hand, takes another step towards its goal to have 100 percent of its virgin wood fiber sourced from certified vendors by 2015.

The agreement was inked at a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) meeting in Sabah, the Malaysian state on Borneo that lies in the middle of a region that has been affected by mass commercial logging–much of which occurs illegally.  Borneo and the Indonesian island of Sumatra host some of the most ecologically diverse forests in the world.  Those forests also boast some of the world’s last few remaining Sumatran tigers, rhinos, Pygmy elephants and orangutans.  Meanwhile the forests work as Southeast Asia’s lungs and provide fresh water to millions of people.

Under the terms of the partnership, Kimberly-Clark will broaden its involvement in the Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN), a WWF program that works to stop illegal logging and preserve the world’s most threatened forests.  Kimberly-Clark will also ramp up its FSC-certified pulp and paper sourcing, which is set to hit 50 percent by the end of this year.

A Logging truck, courtesy Edward Parker/WWF-Canon
A Logging truck, courtesy Edward Parker/WWF-Canon

For GFTN, Kimberly-Clark serves as an effective stakeholder. GTFN is an organization that already involves over 300 governments, companies, NGOs, and local entrepreneurs in more than 30 countries.  Approximately 30 million acres of natural forest are cut down to satisfy the growing need for wood and paper products. The perfect storm of increased illegal logging and lagging supplies of credibly certified wood makes deforestation an even more pressing issue.

Many carbon experts point out that deforestation has a huge role in global pollution and often has just an equal, if not higher, impact than emissions from transportation or industry.  With a Kleenex box in just about every household or office, Kimberly-Clark has an opportunity to spur innovation and goad its competitors into action to source responsibly sourced paper.  Nevertheless, some critics will yawn at this announcement, and they have a point.  Virgin sources of wood cannot be the only source for those convenient paper products in the long term; increased recycled content and alternatives to wood-based paper, have got to be considered.  Nevertheless, a step taken is better than one not taken at all.

Leon Kaye writes about sustainability issues around the world and corporate social responsibility.  The Editor of, he also contributes to The Guardian Sustainable Business; you can follow him on Twitter.

Based in Fresno, California, Leon Kaye has written for TriplePundit since 2010. He has lived across the U.S., as well as in South Korea, Abu Dhabi and Uruguay. Some of Leon's work can also be found in The Guardian, Sustainable Brands and CleanTechnica. You can follow him on Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost).

One response

  1. *KIMBERLY CLARK’S UNETHICAL AND IMMORAL BUSINESS PRACTICES: NEVER SIGN KIMBERLY CLARK’S CORPORATION POLICY FORM; IF YOU DON’T OBTAIN YOUR PATENT, YOUR IDEA OF INTEREST TO THEM WILL BE TAKEN AWAY!!!: Not three months after my patent pending status expired, Kimberly Clark filed for a Trademark for Tween Pads; it’s so obvious, even the package outside and inside contents were created by my influence/ideas. I AM THE PROPRIETOR/CREATOR OF TWEEN PADS! U by Kotex Tweens”IS MY IDEA” I CAN PROVE THIS IN ANY COURT OF LAW!!! I created the idea for “tween” pads and shared my idea with Kimberly Clark/Kotex. My idea, my dream was taken away from me through their unethical and immoral business practices. The only thing they have against me is the signed corporation policy form. I was inspired by my own daughter, Dionna Nicole. Dionna started her cycle at 11. She complained to me about how uncomfortable the traditional pads made her feel. That’s when God gave me the idea of creating tween pads for girls who are under the age of thirteen years old. I greatly desire to be acknowledged and compensated for this valuable idea. It hurts terribly to read the reviews from young girls who absolutely love my innovation and to shop and see my idea on store shelves. For this I will never stop seeking, knocking, and praying for what I know is rightfully mine. There are far too many coincidences surrounding “U by Kotex Tweens” (package and contents) and what I submitted to Kimberly Clark in May of 2009.

    You can visit my site at. to read more about my story.
    Thank you!
    Linda Davis

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