Editor’s note: This post is a follow-up to TriplePundit’s recent Twitter chat with Kimberly-Clark and the World Wildlife Fund. In case you missed it, you can catch a recap here.
Last month, TriplePundit hosted a Twitter chat with Kimberly-Clark and the World Wildlife Fund to talk about their collaboration to ensure responsible fiber sourcing.
We couldn't get to every question in our chat, so Linda Walker (@BalanceWWF), director of the Global Forest & Trade Network-North America Program for the World Wildlife Fund, and Iris Schumacher (@KCPNorthAmerica), North America sustainability marketing leader for Kimberly-Clark Professional, got back to us with their answers.
Q26 from @BAFPACKAGING: As a co-packer, how can I use eco-friendly packaging when my customer may want to use something more cost efficient? #RespFibers
Q27 from @fairsnape: How are #biomimicy approaches used in developing #RespFibers?
Q28 from @davidcoethica: What are the key cost differentials around using #RespFibers? How much more? @BalanceWWF @triplepundit #csr
- @BalanceWWF: Principles of #biomimicry and innovation can be incorporated into the production, use and recovery of #RespFibers to maximize their sustainability.
Q29 from @HScheinMedical: @KCPNorthAmerica Will this be more affordable than classic "green" products? #respfibers
- @KCPNorthAmerica: Many non-tree plant fiber products are similar in price with products that contain recycled and/or virgin fiber.
- @BalanceWWF: #RespFibers, like tree fibers, should account for the true environmental and social costs of producing them.
- @BalanceWWF: Some #RespFibers in early stages of development might require addl up-front costs to find best varieties and align manufacturing technologies.
Q30 from @csrcounts: #RespFibers 1.3B poor depend on forest products for livelihoods but add to deforestation, 30% paper used in USA, this is material issue?
- @KCPNorthAmerica: We are working to keep our plant fiber products comparable with our other sustainable product offerings
Q31 from @helloenso: .@KCCorp + @KCPNorthAmerica are these sustainable initiatives consistent through other parts of your business operations? #respfibers
- @KCPNorthAmerica: Today, in a resource-constrained, digital world, with fewer sources of recycled fiber, and the need to put less pressure on natural forests, it’s important to continue exploring new non-tree fiber alternatives.
- @BalanceWWF: Important issue – conversion of forests to pulp plantations for paper in some parts of world is a driver of deforestation. US consumers key to sustaining forests both in the US and around the globe by looking for FSC, recycled and responsible alt fiber products. #RespFibers
Q32 from @davidcoethica: Were there any surprise wins from the partnership? #RespFibers @triplepundit
- @BalanceWWF: Yes, many other types, ex: bagasse (sugar cane waste), Arundo donax, kenaf, miscanthus, banana leaf #respfibers
- @KCPNorthAmerica: Sustainability is a driving force behind everything we do. From design and manufacture to distribution and disposal, we are always seeking ways to protect natural resources, reduce waste, save space and minimize our environmental footprint.
Q33 from @AmericanHotelHQ: @BalanceWWF @KCPNorthAmerica How do you think #RespFibers will change the industry?
- @KCPNorthAmerica: We strongly value the guidance and thought leadership WWF brings to KC as we continue to lead with sustainability and responsible forestry at the heart of all we do.
- @BalanceWWF: WWF and @KCPNorthAmerica working together has built stronger consumer awareness of responsible forestry in many regions of the world. #RespFibers
Q34 from @HScheinMedical: @PeggyatKC Has the decrease of using virgin fibers affected your overall business strategy? #respfibers
- @BalanceWWF: Innovative way to take pressure off of natural forests. Gives paper companies more options for diversifying supply and reducing sourcing risk, reducing competition over tree fiber from things like biomass.
- @KCPNorthAmerica: It’s a pioneering approach to fiber sourcing that we hope will transform the paper products industry. As a world leader in sustainability, Kimberly-Clark is paving the way – delivering innovative products along with the quality and performance that you’ve come to expect from our trusted brands.
Q35 from @csrcounts: @BalanceWWF whats the opinion on balance Pro or Con given what we know now? and compared to other alternatives #RespFibers
- @KCPNorthAmerica: @KCCorp has a goal to transition at least 50% of wood fiber sourced from natural forests to alternative fiber sources by 2025. This is in alignment with our overall business strategy.
Q36 from @fairsnape: @MarissaR1 @KCPNorthAmerica @KCCorp sounds good but do we have time for 50% by 2025 #RespFibers
- @BalanceWWF: Depends on WHAT species is planted, WHERE it’s planted, making sure no forest conversion to plant, and how much water/chemicals needed. Ag waste can keep material out of landfill. More here.
Q37 from @jackwysocki: @mary_mazzoni Has non-tree natural fibers (ANF) affected the water usage? #RespFibers
- @KCPNorthAMerica: @KCCorp is committed to meeting our 2025 sustainability goals. We are excited and proud to be on this journey to reduce pressure on natural forests.
Q38 from @helloenso: @balancewwf @kccorp how do we get all citizens to participate in making sustainable choices? How can we amplify your impact? #respfibers
- @BalanceWWF: Some alt fibers can require more irrigation than other crops. Need to consider trade-offs between different ag fibers and also different ag crops in an area #respfibers
- @KCPNorthAmerica: Education and engagement are really important to bringing people along on this journey. Partnerships with WWF and @FSC_US help to make that possible.
- @BalanceWWF: Make it affordable, show that their choices make a difference. Choosing #FSC products made from #Respfibers helps forests & all of us who depend on them
- @BalanceWWF: Other ag certifications in development can help consumers too: See here.