Greenpeace Steps Up Campaign to Save Boreal Forest

Greenpeace activists chain themselves inside Kimberly-Clark headquarters to protest Boreal forest destruction.©

Four Greenpeace activists locked themselves together in the Canadian headquarters of Kimberly-Clark last week, demanding that the U.S.-based paper company stop using virgin pulp from Canada’s boreal forests in its popular products like Kleenex tissues, Viva paper towels and Cottonelle toilet paper. Meanwhile, other activists roamed the halls of the Toronto building, spreading wood chips in the corridors and broadcasting the deafening sounds of chainsaws, all in the name of trying to persuade the company’s management to stop sourcing fiber from ancient forests and to increase its use of post-consumer recycled content in its products.

"Kimberly-Clark’s executives want to continue on with business as usual. Unfortunately, business as usual for this company means taking one of the last great forests on Earth, one of our best defenses against global warming, and turning it into Kleenex and toilet paper," said Christy Ferguson, one of the Greenpeace forest campaigners chained inside the building. "That can’t continue. We simply won’t let it. If companies and governments don’t change soon, they’re going to see large-scale action and controversy in Canada’s forests."

In its defense, Kimberly-Clark spokespeople say the company is a sustainability leader, the number-one-ranked personal care company in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for two years. They claim the company is involved in protecting ""ecologically significant" old-growth forests."

According to Greenpeace, all of the Kimberly-Clark’s Kleenex brand products sold in North America are derived from 100 percent virgin tree fiber, much of its from boreal forest tracts in the northern reaches of Canada’s Ontario and Alberta provinces. This latest action in Toronto follows a series of confrontations with Kimberly-Clark in Europe, the U.S. and Canada as part of Greenpeace’s international campaign to reduce stress on Canada’s boreal forest, which serves as both a prime wildlife habitat and a sink for greenhouse gases that would otherwise pollute the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.

Sources: Greenpeace USA; NRDC