Posted by keith on August 6th, 2009
Let’s say I had been punching you in the face for a few years during which time you had been offering no resistance to my violence. After all this time you would be a bloody mess, barely able to speak, see or breathe. Then, for practical reasons, i.e. I couldn’t find any flesh that hadn’t been already mashed and there were a few people hanging about that might hit me back, I said I would stop hitting you. The people who had been hanging about overhear this and walk away — after all, I can be trusted, can’t I? Then, let’s suppose you say that I don’t need to stop hitting you straight away and I can carry on for another couple of years, but which time you might be dead. Is that ok?
Yesterday, I received a breathless email from Daniel Kessler at Greenpeace USA, hailing the actions of a “former” face-puncher extraordinaire: a deal had been done, and all was forgiven…
I have big news about forest protection. Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex, Scott and Cottonelle brands, today announced stronger fiber sourcing standards that will increase conservation of forests globally and will make the company a leader for sustainably produced tissue products. In turn, Greenpeace, which worked with Kimberly-Clark on its revised standards, announced that it will end its “Kleercut” campaign, which focused on the company and its brands.
A video celebrating Kimberly-Clark’s move as well as a history of Greenpeace’s campaign can be found at www.greenpeace.org/kleercut.
Kimberly-Clark has set a goal of obtaining 100 percent of the company’s wood fiber for tissue products, including the Kleenex brand, from environmentally responsible sources. The revised standards will enhance the protection of Endangered Forests and increase the use of both Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified fiber and recycled fiber. By 2011, Kimberly-Clark will ensure that 40 percent of its North American tissue fiber is either recycled or FSC certified — a 71 percent increase from 2007 levels that represents 600,000 tones of fiber.
Also by the end of 2011, Kimberly-Clark will eliminate the purchase of any fiber from the Canadian Boreal Forest that is not FSC certified. This forest is North America’s largest old growth forest, providing habitat for threatened wildlife such as woodland caribou and a sanctuary for more than one billion migratory birds. It is also the largest terrestrial storehouse of carbon on the planet, storing the equivalent of 27 years worth of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, the revised standards reinforce Kimberly-Clark’s long-standing ban on use of wood fiber from illegal sources; adds a preference for post-consumer recycled fiber; and supports expansion of recycling initiatives and the identification, mapping and protection of areas that have the potential to be designated as Endangered or High Conservation Value forests.
Please contact me with any questions,
Greenpeace Press Officer
Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries. Every day, 1.3 billion people – nearly a quarter of the world’s population – trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds No. 1 or No. 2 share positions in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company’s 137-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com.
Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful direct action and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.
The story of this “historic” agreement was prefixed by a period of decades of wanton destruction: it wasn’t merely a case of K-C not realising the damage they were doing — they knew exactly what they were doing, it was spelled out in the terms of the campaigners’ articles and petitions and the rapid denudation of the ancient forests they were wiping out. Kimberly-Clark carried out systematic ecocide on a truly gigantic scale. Greenpeace appear to have very short memories:
Go to the Kleercut web site and the banner says, “Case Closed!” But hang on! The press release quite clearly says the following:
- By the end of 2011, Kimberly-Clark will eliminate the purchase of any fiber from the Canadian Boreal Forest that is not FSC certified.
So who will be monitoring the activities of Kimberly-Clark for the next 2 years? There is nothing to suggest that they will be easing up on their destruction any time soon, and no veto on the agreement should K-C decide to increase their usage of virgin or uncertified pulp. It is also vital to note that Greenpeace Nordic’s own report heavily criticised the FSC in Sweden, saying: “The FSC has failed to prevent the destruction of HCVFs [High Conservation Value Forests] in Sweden. Swedish FSC-certified forest companies are misusing the FSC system and…the FSC are sanctioning this mismanagement by failing to stand by the FSC Principles and Criteria”. FSC certification is clearly not adequate, especially when companies wish to cover up their activities.
- By 2011, Kimberly-Clark will ensure that 40 percent of its North American tissue fiber is either recycled or FSC certified
Meaning that 60 percent will still be of extremely dubious origin in two years time, and that the remaining 40 percent could fall under a scheme that Greenpeace (Nordic) have said is unreliable. The original Kimberly-Clark policy document, makes no undertakings to increase its use of recycled materials.
The aforementioned K-C document makes another interesting statement, not mentioned in the Greenpeace USA press release. The press release states, “Kimberly-Clark has set a goal of obtaining 100 percent of the company’s wood fiber for tissue products, including the Kleenex brand, from environmentally responsible sources.” whereas the Policy Document has a different take on this:
Kimberly-Clark has a goal of purchasing 100% of its wood fiber from suppliers that have had their forestry operations or wood fiber procurement activities certified to one of the following third-party verified forest certification systems. The Corporation will give preference to wood fiber certified under FSC standards.
* For purposes of this policy, “forest certification systems” will mean the following five schemes: Forest Stewardship Coucil (FSC); Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI); Canadian Standards Association’s National Sustainable Forest Management Standards (CSA); Sistema Brasileiro de Certificacao Florestral (CERFLOR) in Brazil; and Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PERF)…
With remarkable precience, Jared Diamond in his 2005 book “Collapse”, said the following about certification schemes:
“The effectiveness of the Forest Stewardship Council has received the ultimate compliment from logging companies opposed to it: they have set up their own competing certification organizations with weaker standards. These include the Sustainable Forestry Initiative in the U.S., set up by the American Forest and Paper Association; the Canadian Standards Association; and the Pan-European Forest Council.”
“All of these ‘knockoffs’ differ from the FSC in that they do not require independent third-party certification, but they permit companies to certify themselves (I’m not joking).”
And there is no indication from K-C what the phrase “give preference to” means in the real world.
So, what we have here is a policy change made by an ecocidal company that, in reality, doesn’t promise anything fundamentally different: as far as you should be concerned, Kimberly-Clark remain an ecocidal company. But making a complete mockery of the facts, is the slavish behaviour of Greenpeace USA, quoting K-C verbatim, including the priceless phrase, “Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries…to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being.”
Why have Greenpeace done this? Because it makes it look as though they have achieved something significant; ensuring a boost in their revenue stream, and ensuring the paid staff and volunteers feel that what they do within Greenpeace (rather than outside it) justifies their continued efforts in applauding anyone and anything — whatever their history and whatever their other continuing activities — that does anything “environmental”, however symbolic it may be. The message is that we only have to make a few trivial changes in order to prevent ecological collapse. This is bullshit, and the sooner people realise it, the sooner we will be able to escape from the powerful grip the mainstream environmental groups have over the minds of people who only want to make things better.
You can do better than that.