Greenpeace Report: Kimberly-Clark's Failed Policies Devastate Forest

Cut & Run

A new Greenpeace report reveals that Kimberly-Clark devastated Ontario’s Kenogami Forest while promoting itself as a leader in environmental and social responsibility.

Download the report now and take action.

Cut and Run uses government information, independent audits, public records, and satellite mapping to document Kimberly-Clark’s management and logging of the Kenogami Forest near Thunder Bay, Ontario. It details how, in just 70 years, the Kenogami Forest has been turned from a vast expanse of healthy, near-pristine forest, to a severely damaged landscape rife with social and environmental problems--largely to make products that are used once and then thrown away.

The case of the Kenogami Forest sheds light on the stark contrast between Kimberly-Clark’s claims to sustainability and the reality of its operations on the ground. It shows, for example, that the company ignored its previous policy prohibiting the use of “environmentally significant” old-growth in consumer products. It also shows that Kimberly-Clark logged healthy forests to produce pulp, while its executives claimed that the boreal fibre used in its products came from “waste.” And it shows that Kimberly-Clark’s current policy permits the purchase of fibre from intact and old-growth forests, including threatened species habitat and areas logged without the prior and informed consent of the Aboriginal communities whose territories are affected.

The fact that Kimberly-Clark planned and implemented environmentally and socially destructive logging operations while at the same assuring its customers, its shareholders, and the public that all its operations were environmentally sustainable and socially beneficial speaks to the company’s disregard for communities and forests.

Outraged? Take action! Email CEO Thomas Falk and head of corporate communications David Dickson and tell them what you think of companies that say one thing and do another. Or, better yet, call them directly:

Thomas Falk, President and CEO: 972-281-1308
David Dickson, Corporate Communications: 972-281-1483

Key findings:

  • Kimberly-Clark uses hundreds of thousands of tonnes of tree fibre from the Kenogami Forest every year to produce disposable tissue products, including Kleenex.
  • Kimberly-Clark directly managed and logged the Kenogami Forest for 71 years, from 1937 to 2004.
  • Since Kimberly-Clark started logging there, 71 per cent of the Kenogami Forest has been fragmented. Woodland caribou have been driven out of 67 per cent of the forest, and wolverines have completely disappeared from its boundaries.
  • Individual clearcuts stretch across as many as 10,807 hectares (26,693 acres).
  • Between 2001 and 2006 alone, 220,500 hectares (544,635 acres) of intact forest was fragmented—an area more than twice the size of Dallas.
  • Caribou are predicted to die-off in 95 per cent of the forest within the next 20 years, due to the logging that has already been done. Eighty per cent of the monitored species in the forest are predicted to decline substantially within the next 100 years.
  • Many of the remaining intact and old-growth forest areas in Kenogami, including critical threatened species habitat, are slated to be cut under the 2005–2010 and draft 2010–2011 plans.
  • Old-growth is projected to decline by as much as 50 per cent in the next eighty years.
  • Ninety-seven per cent of the stands scheduled to cut between 2005 and 2010 are 80 years old or older; 83 per cent are 100 years old or older; 61 per cent are 120 years old or older; 34 per cent are 140 years old or older; and 12 per cent are 160 years old or older. 8,457 hectares (20,888 acres) of 160-200 year-old trees are scheduled to be cut in this five year period alone.
  • Draft plans for 2010–2011 show a similar trend.
  • Only 3.2 per cent of Kenogami’s landbase is protected by legislation, compared to a provincial average of 12 per cent.
  • Eighty-two per cent of the Kenogami Forest has been classified as inadequately protected, and 78 per cent as high priority for conservation.
  • Workers from the Terrace Bay pulp mill and the logging operations that feed it have been on strike since 2006. None of the companies involved will agree to talks with the workers.
  • Nine First Nations have an outstanding legal case against the Ontario government and the companies managing the Kenogami Forest. These Aboriginal communities have been left out of the forest’s planning, management, and economic benefits, despite treaty rights.


>Click here to download the full report.

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