In my CNNMoney.com column today, I look at the battle being waged by Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council against consumer products giant Kimberly-Clark. The environmentalists charge that K-C has failed to follow best practices in its sourcing of wood, and in particular uses wood pulp from ancient Canadian forests to make throwaway products like Kleenex and toilet tissue. The company’s bigger problem may be that it misled the public and its shareholders about its practices. Here’s how the column begins:
NEW YORK — Question: When you wipe your nose with a Kleenex, are you helping wipe out ancient forests?
Answer: That depends entirely on who you ask.
The environmental groups Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council say that Kimberly-Clark, the world’s largest tissue manufacturer, has failed to keep its promises to protect ancient forests in Canada. Kimberly-Clark calls itself an environmental leader. Be warned: digging through the competing claims in this controversy is not easy.
But one thing’s evident: Kimberly-Clark’s credibility has taken a hit, and that’s a problem for the $16 billion a year consumer products firm whose brands include Kleenex, Huggies, Scott, Pull-Ups, Cottonelle, Viva, Kotex and Depend.
You can read the column here.