In 2014, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, global producer of Kleenex, Huggies, Kotex and dozens of other paper towel, diaper and family-care brands released a cutting-edge study of the existing and potential raw materials for its products.
The comprehensive lifecycle analysis (LCA) was authored by the Georgia Institute of Technology, with Canopy bringing independent expertise to the advisory board.
The final product delivered an innovative approach to LCAs by including measurements for carbon storage in global forests as key indicators in the environmental analysis.
Kimberly Clark used eight key environmental indicators, including land occupation, human toxicity, climate change and water depletion. The findings were clear: it suggested Kimberly-Clark’s use of recycled paper, along with alternatives such as bamboo and wheat straw waste, had reduced environmental impacts when compared with traditional forest fiber.
Ancient and endangered forests, such as Canada’s Boreal, continue to be made into toilet paper and incontinence products. The Kimberly Clark LCA demonstrates that fibers not derived from threatened forests are viable alternatives. It will stand as an invaluable resource for all forest product-consuming companies and producers throughout the supply chain.
Kimberly-Clark noted that in 2012, it achieved its Sustainability 2015 goal of sourcing 100 percent of its virgin wood fiber from suppliers whose forestry operations or wood-fiber procurement activities are certified by a third-party forest certification system, with over 52 percent coming from FSC-certified sources.