An Open Letter to Forest Friendly Companies or Institutions
You may have received a letter from Kimberly-Clark (K-C) revealing that Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) were in confidential negotiations with the company to improve its fiber sourcing practices. We would like to correct some misperceptions that may arise from that correspondence.
Kimberly-Clark claims "good progress was made" during the talks. This is misleading. Though we exchanged information, our discussions never reached the stage where substantive agreements and real progress could be made.
The letter is also inaccurate in suggesting that Greenpeace is to blame for the failure of the discussions. At the outset of our dialogue, K-C, Greenpeace and NRDC together agreed to an exhaustive roadmap to the process, which itemized the issues to be addressed, the schedule of meetings, and the milestones against which progress would be measured. This roadmap included a clear commitment on the part of K-C to address our concerns regarding the recycled content of its products. K-C made this express, written agreement with full knowledge that its recycled fiber Life Cycle Assessment was in process and would not be completed until after our meetings were concluded. Yet, more than a month into our talks and literally on the eve of our first substantive negotiating session, K-C notified Greenpeace and NRDC for the first time that it was unwilling to deal seriously with the issue of recycled content. Unfortunately, this violation of the roadmap agreement necessarily triggered an end to the talks.
Greenpeace and NRDC work with a wide range of corporations to the benefit of their business and the health of our environment. Though we do not always agree with the companies we campaign against and cooperate with, we rely on a level of honesty and professionalism to enable our collaborative work. Greenpeace and NRDC stand ready to resume discussions with Kimberly-Clark when those conditions exist.
Until then, we will continue to engage with companies like yours to build the demand for sustainable paper products. Fortunately, that community of companies continues to grow. In the past few weeks, the University of Miami and the Philadelphia Eagles professional football team made plans to replace K-C products with those of more environmentally responsible companies.
Hundreds of companies in the U.S, Canada and throughout the world are taking action to protect ancient forests. To date, 700 companies have joined Greenpeace’s Forest Friendly Business project by pledging not to use Kimberly-Clark products such as Kleenex, until the company stops destroying the last remaining ancient forests.
While over 700 small businesses have rejected Kimberly-Clark products, the campaign has also made significant progress with encouraging educational institutions and large businesses to boycott K-C products until the company stops destroying ancient forests to make disposable products. To date:
-- Aspen Skiing Company has removed K-C products from its ski mountains, hotels and restaurants, as well as dropped all printed references to Kleenex Corner, an iconic spot on Aspen Mountain.
-- American University has sent a letter of concern to K-C that highlights the university’s decision to avoid using K-C paper products
-- Rice University has removed K-C products from its Housing and Dining
-- Skidmore College has written a letter of concern to K-C
-- The Green Restaurant Association has sent a letter to K-C stating that they will not endorse K-C products