Eco–labelling Continues Global Growth Trend

The latest statistics also show a growing global trend in environmental certification of forests and forest products. FSC now has 118 million hectares and PEFC (Programme of Environmental Forest Certification) 224 million hectares of production forest land under each certificate world-wide. A strong driver of this trend is increased consumer demand for products and services that are derived from environmentally credible sources under environmentally responsible management.

In August, what was billed as one of the most significant commercial commitments to forest stewardship in FSC's history, Kimberly–Clark Corporation announced a new fibre purchasing policy. Kimberly–Clark is the global leader in health and hygiene products with more than US$19 billion in sales and a No.1 or 2 market share position in more than 80 countries. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people use Kimberly–Clark products.

The policy is already making waves in the forest products supply chain, particularly in Canada, where many major players and concessions will have to move to FSC certification or cease doing business with, in some cases, their largest customer.

It is expected that these steps toward FSC–labelled product by one of the most successful consumer and professional brands in the world will raise FSC into the consciousness of not only 300 million American consumers, but consumers world-wide.

Features of the new fibre policy are:

  • By the end of 2010, Kimberly–Clark will reduce its use of non-FSC certified Canadian Boreal fibre by 50 percent or more, as compared to its 2007 level of use.
  • By the end of 2011, Kimberly–Clark will stop purchasing non-FSC certified wood fibre from the North American Boreal region.
  • By 2011, Kimberly–Clark will ensure that 40 percent of its North American tissue fibre is either recycled or FSC certified - a 71 percent increase from 2007 levels.
  • Kimberly–Clark will support programs for the identification and mapping of Endangered Forests and High Conservation Value Forests to ensure that such areas are designated for appropriate protection.
  • Kimberly–Clark will leverage its global buying power to encourage suppliers to practice high levels of sustainable forestry management and work with suppliers to help it achieve its FSC preference.