Exposed: Photos Show Kimberly-Clark Gets Trees From Ancient Forests

New photos released today reveal a massive stockpile of old-growth logs from the Boreal forest destined to be made into Kleenex and toilet paper for tissue giant Kimberly-Clark. As recently as August 30th, Kimberly-Clark has claimed that "much of [the] fiber from the Canadian Boreal forest comes to K-C in the form of wood pulp produced from sawdust and chips – or leftovers – of the lumber production process."

The logs originate from the Ogoki Forest, the single most ecologically valuable area left in Ontario’s southern Boreal forest and the site of growing controversy. These new photos as well as recent government correspondence reveal that Kimberly-Clark is currently purchasing huge quantities of pulp made primarily from whole, old-growth trees from intact areas of Canada’s Boreal Forest.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Environment, the stockpile contained 85,000 cubic meters of wood as of the end of March, 2008. That’s equivalent to over 7,000 logging trucks full of wood. Since the closure of an area sawmill in June 2008, this wood has been trucked to the Terrace Bay pulp mill where it is being turned directly into pulp for Kleenex and other disposable products. In total, the logs will have been trucked 6-7 hours from the forest to the mill.

The Ogoki Forest is the northernmost area of Ontario subject to logging. Unlike other forests in the province that have been logged for the last 70-100 years, the first industrial logging in Ogoki did not occur until 1998. For this reason, it is the most intact of all the forest management units in Ontario. Because the neighboring Kenogami Forest has been managed so poorly, and because regeneration there has been so unsuccessful, logging company Buchanan Forest Products is pushing further and further north so supply its pulp mill at Terrace Bay.

The size, location, and near pristine state of the Ogoki Forest make it critical habitat for the threatened woodland caribou, while its carbon-dense trees and soils make it critical for mitigating climate change. As detailed in the recent Greenpeace report Cut & Run, the Kenogami Forest was turned from a vast expanse of healthy, near-pristine forest, to a severely damaged landscape rife with environmental problems in through 70 years of mismanagement. Ogoki cannot be allowed to become the next Kenogami.

In light of this discovery, Greenpeace is calling on Kimberly-Clark to ensure that no more fiber from the Ogoki Forest enters its product stream by immediately engaging with Greenpeace in a process to revise its fiber procurement policy.

Fast facts:

As of the end of March 2008, the stockpile contained 85,000 cubic meters of wood, equivalent to over 7,000 full logging trucks. According to the Ontario Ministry of Environment, the stockpile has now diminished to 12,000 cubic meters, as large amounts of pulp have been shipped to Terrace Bay for pulping since the shutdown of the Nakina sawmill in June.

Kimberly-Clark purchases 55 percent of their 462,970 tons of pulp produced at the Terrace Bay pulp mill each year, an amount equal to the weight of over 1150 jumbo jets.

Kimberly-Clark uses the pulp produced at Terrace Bay to make Kleenex, Cottonelle, Scott and Viva brand products that are sold across North America and Europe.

More on Deforestation:
New Google Earth Layer Shows Global Deforestation
Kleenex Kleercut — Trees for Tissues?
Fortune Investigates Kimberly-Clark Forestry Practices

Tags: Canada | Forestry | Greenpeace

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