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 nationwide.
As part of its commitment to a better future, Kimberly-Clark worked with WWF from 2011 to 2018 to source the timber-based fibre used to make its tissue and towel products from forests that have been certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). 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.
This work was carried out through WWF’s Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN), which Kimberly-Clark Australia-NZ joined in 2010. In 2011, after Kleenex Family Care tissue products were awarded FSC certification, Kimberly-Clark and WWF launched the "Love Your Forests" campaign to promote consumer awareness of the FSC label in Australia and New Zealand, including 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, FORMER 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 "Love Your Forests" campaign 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 orangutan
. 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 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 2016. 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
". “Keep the Heart of Borneo Beating
”, saw Kimberly-Clark and WWF raise critical funds to promote sustainable forest management and demonstrate that forestry is as much a solution to deforestation and degradation as it can be a cause. Despite the company not sourcing its fibre from the forests of Borneo, the campaign helped tell the story of what loving your forest means in one of WWF’s Priority Places, by showing how the products you buy can help protect the forest homes of wildlife and communities.
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 orangutan. 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.