The announcement was made at the GFTN's 20th Anniversary Reception at the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) General Assembly meeting in Sabah, Malaysia.
"Given its breadth of product offerings and market influence, we commend Kimberly-Clark's leadership in pushing the pulp and paper industry toward more responsible sourcing practices," said Kerry Cesareo, WWF's Managing Director of Forests. "Our collaboration will improve forest management, reduce impacts from production, and help protect the forests and habitats at the core of our mission. And Kimberly-Clark can offer consumers responsible alternatives for tissue and personal care products. This shows the true power of collaboration."
"At Kimberly-Clark, we believe what is good for business must also be good for the planet," said Suhas Apte, Vice President, Global Sustainability, for Kimberly-Clark. "As the largest tissue manufacturer in the world, we are committed to responsible fiber sourcing. Expanding our work globally with WWF and the GFTN is an important way K-C can be part of the solution to the sustainability challenges our world faces."
As part of its participation in GFTN, WWF and Kimberly-Clark will collaborate to realize Kimberly-Clark's commitment to have 100 percent of its virgin wood fiber sourced from certified suppliers by 2015. This commitment includes a preference for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, which best meets WWF key requirements for protecting environmental, social and economic values essential to maintaining priority forests.
Through its Market Transformation Initiative, WWF collaborates with top brands like Kimberly-Clark to spur adoption of sustainable practices in key commodity markets. Participants in GFTN make commitments to avoid illegal wood sources, phase out purchases of wood from unknown and controversial sources, and to increase their purchase of wood that originates from well managed forests and independently certified sources.
By the end of 2011, Kimberly-Clark has committed to achieving a combined FSC/recycled content target of 50 percent for all its products that are covered within their GFTN participation. Together WWF and Kimberly-Clark will train and educate staff and suppliers on responsible fiber sourcing, encourage certification of small, non-industrial private landowners, pursue FSC Chain-of-Custody certification for all Kimberly-Clark facilities, and promote FSC-labeled products in key markets.
"Deforestation and forest degradation contribute up to 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the leading contributor to climate change, and decimate critical habitat for several species, notably primates, tigers and elephants," said Cesareo. "WWF's Living Planet Report estimates that more than one billion people living in poverty rely directly on forests for their livelihoods, while about 32 million acres have been lost globally each year between 2000 and 2010, an area that is equal in size to the state of Mississippi. To address these issues, we need companies to follow Kimberly-Clark's lead."