Kimberly-Clark Adopts FSC's Sustainable Fiber Sourcing Standards
Oct. 10, 2011 (Press Release) - Kimberly-Clark Corporation today announced it is the first U.S. tissue maker to offer branded consumer tissue products that meet the rigorous sustainable sourcing requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Kimberly-Clark's Kleenex brand facial tissue and Scott Naturals brand products sold in North America now include fiber sourced from suppliers who have been independently certified to follow the highest standards in forestry management while also protecting high conservation-value forests and habitat. Consumers can now identify FSC-certified Kleenex and Scott brand products by the FSC label on every package.
"This action is a major milestone in K-C's sustainability journey and a significant step forward in the consumer adoption of FSC-certified fiber for bathroom tissue, facial tissue and paper towels," said Suhas Apte, vice president - global sustainability. "K-C's commitment to FSC certification for its Kleenex and Scott Naturals brands will grow the demand for sustainably sourced fiber and will encourage more suppliers to practice responsible forest management."
Forest Stewardship Council certification is a market-based, non-regulatory forest conservation system that is recognized globally for having the highest social and environmental standards in forestry. The program uses third-party experts to verify forest management practices and track materials as they leave the forest and become products downstream. Any FSC labeled product can be traced back through the chain of custody to a certified source.
"Consumers want to buy green, but they don't want to sacrifice product quality or effectiveness," said Gordon Knapp, president, Kimberly-Clark North Atlantic Family Care. "Kleenex and Scott Naturals brand products with the FSC label offer the same softness, strength and performance consumers expect from K-C's leading brands with the assurance that they are helping to protect forest ecosystems and resources for future generations."
Kimberly-Clark in 2003 became the first tissue company to require its wood fiber suppliers to gain independent certification for their woodlands. In 2007 the company set a goal of purchasing 100 percent of its wood fiber from certified woodlands and achieved 98 percent of that target within two years. In 2009, Kimberly-Clark Professional became the first away-from-home tissue products company to receive FSC chain-of-custody certification for a broad range of tissue and towel products.
"Kimberly-Clark's decision to adopt FSC certification for all Kleenex and Scott Naturals brand products is a major leap forward for the health of the world's forests," said Corey Brinkema, president, FSC's U.S. national office. Kimberly-Clark's leadership is setting the pace for the industry, and we hope other personal care manufacturers will soon follow suit."
"This is another important step for Kimberly-Clark on their continuing path towards greater sustainability," said Scott Paul, director of forest campaigns for Greenpeace USA.
Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries. Every day, 1.3 billion people - nearly a quarter of the world's population - trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds No. 1 or No. 2 share positions in more than 80 countries.
An international nonprofit organization, the Forest Stewardship Council was founded in 1993 to harness the power of the marketplace to encourage environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous management of the world's forests. FSC standards and third party forest and forest products certification represent the world's strongest system for guiding forest management toward sustainable outcomes. FSC is the only forest certification program supported by the world's leading environmental organizations. Its U.S. chapter, FSC-US, was established to coordinate the development of a national forest management standard, encourage the expansion of US forests managed under the FSC standard, and provide public education about the importance and value of forest stewardship.