Kimberly Clark WWF Love Your Forests

How the world’s largest tissue manufacturer is working with WWF and the Forest Stewardship Council® to promote more sustainable forestry.

Deforestation and forest degradation is a global problem, with over 1.3 million km2 of the world’s remaining forests cleared over the period 2000-2010. The result is increased pressure on wildlife, increased greenhouse gas emissions, degraded watersheds, loss of valuable natural resources and, in some cases, displacement of local and indigenous communities. Australians can help stop deforestation and land degradation both at home and abroad in many ways: by recycling waste packaging, supporting conservation efforts, and by choosing only certified sustainable forest products.

WWF’s approach to forest certification

The WWF works with companies around the world to promote more sustainable production and sourcing of key commodities. In addition to timber and paper, WWF-Australia focuses on seafood, beef, sugarcane and palm oil, which can all have significant environmental impacts. A key tool for companies to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable forest management is through certification of forests and products under the FSC®, which includes environmental, social and economic safeguards. The FSC label tells consumers that a timber or paper product is from a well-managed forest. WWF set up the Global Forest and Trade
Network (GFTN) in 1991 to promote more responsible forestry and trade. Today, the GFTN involves more than 200 companies in over 30 countries, working with WWF to assess their forest product supply chains and to make the transition from unknown or unwanted sources towards FSC certified forests. The Kimberly-Clark Corporation – the world’s largest tissue manufacturer – is a global participant in the GFTN, which covers the company’s entire wood fibre supply as well as additional support for on-ground conservation projects and research into alternative fibres. In Australia and New Zealand Kimberly-Clark’s commitment to responsible sourcing specifies only FSC Certified or controlled sources by 2015.

In 2010 the company secured FSC certification for their Kleenex Cottonelle toilet paper and VIVA paper towel products, and in 2012 achieved their 2015 target. Focus now is on transitioning from controlled sources to 100% FSC certified.

Raising consumer awareness of responsible forest products in Australia

Despite strong corporate commitments to responsible sourcing, Australian consumers’ awareness of sustainable forestry, and of FSC certified products in particular, has lagged behind other major markets, such as in Europe and North America.“We needed to grow FSC in the Australian market and working with WWF was a natural choice. We’re both seeking to move markets towards responsible production and consumption,” said Natalie Reynolds, CEO of FSC Australia. To help Australians learn about responsible forest management, and to demonstrate the business case, WWF and FSC needed the right partner: one with
prominent brands, a firm commitment to FSC and willingness to lead. That partner was Kimberly-Clark Australia.

Love Your Forests – an award winning campaign

Kimberly-Clark, WWF and FSC launched the Love Your Forests campaign in 2011, encouraging consumers to look for
and choose FSC certified products. The Love Your Forests on-product label links the trusted and well-recognised WWF panda logo with the rigour of the FSC mark. Kimberly-Clark’s leading brands Kleenex Cottonelle, Kleenex facial tissues and VIVA paper towel all now feature the Love Your Forests label. These brands supported the campaign with significant investment in consumer marketing and social media, including online, TV, in-store and outdoor advertising. According to Kimberly-Clark, the Love Your Forests campaign has helped to differentiate their products in a crowded marketplace, and to communicate the company’s
environmental credentials. “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,” said Jacquie Fegent-McGeachie. According to FSC Australia, prompted awareness of the FSC trademark among Australian consumers has more than doubled since 2011. With more and more consumers and businesses recognising the importance of responsible forest management, and choosing products that carry the FSC logo, the future is looking brighter for the world’s forests and for the wildlife and communities that depend on them.

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