It would be rare to find an Australian bathroom or kitchen that didn't contain household essentials made by Kimberly-Clark. Its facial tissues, toilet paper, paper towels and many other products are also commonplace in hotels, commercial office buildings, restaurants and cafes nation-wide.
As part of its commitment to a better future, Kimberly-Clark works with WWF to ensure that it sources the fibre used to make its tissue and towel products from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified sustainable suppliers. The FSC label tells consumers that a timber or paper product is from a well-managed forest. Given the scale and reach of the company, this sends strong market signals to producers and consumers all over the world.
While the journey to 100% FSC continues, Kimberly-Clark is an active member of the Australian chapter of the Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN) and is working with WWF through the “Love Your Forests” campaign to promote consumer awareness of the FSC label and what this means to forest-dwelling species and communities.
Love Your Forests has not only increased our sales and market share but also contributes to the protection of forests by increasing understanding of FSC and responsible forestry.
Jacquie Fegent-McGeachie, Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Kimberly-Clark Australia and New Zealand
When Kimberly-Clark's Australian-produced Kleenex Family Care tissue products were awarded FSC certification in 2011, the company wanted to raise awareness among consumers of FSC and how the choices of individual shoppers can benefit the environment. Through the campaign "Love Your Forests" Kimberly-Clark and WWF have been able to show how the products you buy can be connected to the forest homes of endangered species like the orang-utan. By looking for the FSC logo, consumers can be assured that the wood fibre used to make that product has been sourced from forests that are managed responsibly, avoiding deforestation and habitat destruction.
The ongoing campaign has helped to shift responsible forest management from the margins to the mainstream, with consumer awareness of FSC increasing from less than 10% when the campaign started, to more than 25% in 2015. There has also been a marked uptake of forest certification across Kimberly-Clark’s major competitors over this period, reflecting genuine market transformation.
In 2015, Kimberly-Clark and WWF launched a short-term campaign to build on "Love your forests". Despite the company not sourcing its fibre from the area, “Keep the Heart of Borneo Beating” helped tell the story of what loving your forest means in one of WWF’s Priority Places, raising critical funds to promote sustainable forest management and demonstrating that forestry is as much a solution to deforestation and degradation as it can be a cause.
The Bottom Line
Household items like facial tissues, toilet paper, paper towels and napkins use fibres sourced from timber. Without sustainable management, the demand for these products can put pressure on the forest homes of some of the world’s most endangered species, like the orang-utan. Deforestation and forest degradation also contribute to climate change because of the role that trees play in the carbon cycle.
Managing timber for sustainable use helps to protect valuable forest habitats as well as minimising impacts associated with climate change. The FSC mark provides consumers with a simple means of identifying products that use wood fibre from responsibly managed sources.