As a significant consumer of wood pulp for our tissue and personal care products, Kimberly-Clark focuses strongly on responsible, sustainable forest management practices across our supply chain. By expanding our use of recycled and other environmentally preferred fibers, we are building resilience and positioning the company for long-term success while simultaneously supporting important environmental and social outcomes.
These efforts also allow us to contribute to a number of the objectives of UN Sustainability Development Goals, including Goal 13, Climate Action, and Goal 15, Life on Land.
Kimberly-Clark’s aspiration is to reduce our natural forest footprint by 50% while unlocking the power of the world’s forests to help solve the climate and biodiversity crises. By 2025, we aim to:
Learn more about our forest footprint goals and progress in our latest Sustainability Report.
More than a decade ago, we launched a fiber procurement policy that sought to minimize our impact on the world's forests. Since then, we’ve focused our efforts around two complementary strategies:
1. Increasing our use of environmentally preferred fibers (EPF), including recycled fibers, sustainable alternative non-wood fibers, and FSC-certified virgin wood fibers
2. Reducing our use of natural forest fibers, which for Kimberly-Clark are primarily fibers from northern boreal and temperate forests
Canada’s boreal forest is an ecosystem of global significance on par with the world’s tropical forests for the environmental, social, cultural, and economic value it provides. The North American Boreal Forest biome, inclusive of Canada and Alaska, is estimated to contain 25% of the world’s remaining intact primary forests. Important issues related to commercial forest management in Canada’s boreal forest include Indigenous rights, biodiversity conservation (including forest management impacts on caribou habitat), and climate change.
Read about Kimberly-Clark's 2022 performance highlights here.
See our forest and fiber data here.
The Forest Stewardship Council is an international nonprofit organization with the mission to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous management of the world's forests. We believe FSC certification represents the most rigorous standard for the responsible management of the world’s forests, which is why FSC-certified virgin fiber is the only virgin fiber we consider to be an EPF and allow to count toward our goal of sourcing 90% EPF for our tissue products by 2025. We remain committed to supporting the broad uptake and robust implementation of the FSC Canada forest management standard and its heightened requirements for the protection of threatened woodland caribou habitat and the upholding of Indigenous rights.
We remain committed to supporting the broad uptake and robust implementation of the FSC Canada forest management standard and its heightened requirements for the protection of threatened woodland caribou habitat and the upholding of Indigenous rights.
Our efforts to reduce the use of natural forest fibers in favor of environmentally preferred fibers help protect forest biodiversity and further Kimberly-Clark’s commitment to fight deforestation and forest degradation.
Beyond our commitment to FSC, Kimberly-Clark is also taking steps to understand how our responsible sourcing practices can support the leadership and authority of Indigenous and other marginalized forest communities within our sphere of influence.
We use life-cycle assessments to help understand the carbon impacts of conventional virgin wood fibers, alternative non-wood fibers, and recycled fibers used in our tissue products. We are evaluating both the biogenic and fossil carbon impacts of these different fiber types over a tissue product’s life cycle in an effort to establish Kimberly-Clark’s first-ever baseline of our Scope 3 land-use emissions.
Using this baseline and applying both the forthcoming GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting Standards for land-use emissions and removals and the new SBTi target-setting guidance for the forest, land, and agriculture sectors, we intend to progress Scope 3 land-use emissions reductions.
Kimberly-Clark does not directly purchase palm oil or palm kernel oil; however, we purchase some chemicals that are derived from palm oil sources. To help ensure we are sourcing these responsibly, Kimberly-Clark joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in February 2020 and has attained RSPO chain-of-custody certification at two operating sites thus far. For more information on our RSPO certification implementation, see our RSPO Profile.
Strong partnerships are critical to engaging the global supply chain in responsible forest practices.
The North American Boreal Forest biome, inclusive of Canada and Alaska, is estimated to contain 25% of the world’s remaining intact primary forests. Intact forests are increasingly under threat, and uniquely important in mitigating the climate and biodiversity crises.
Published June 2023