Kimberly-Clark Professional Bolsters Sustainability Commitment With Introduction Of Alternative Fiber Towel And Tissue Products

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This new fiber towel and tissue line from Kimberly-Clark Professional looks like a major step forward on the sustainability front.

The company has announced it is the first major tissue manufacturer to introduce products containing non-tree fibers to the North American market. This product introduction is fundamental to the company’s exploration of options that foster more sustainable development.

The new Kleenex and Scott offerings will be featured at Greenbuild 2012. They represent an early phase of the Kimberly-Clark Professional effort to advance an ambitious corporate-wide initiative aimed at accelerating the use of rapidly renewable, non-tree sources of fiber in Kimberly-Clark products.

Company officials say the alternative fiber products will contain 20% non-tree fibers, including wheat straw and bamboo. Unlike trees, these plants have a shorter harvesting cycle that allows for more efficient and sustainable use of land and resources.

The product announcement is good news to outside organizations like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “We are encouraged by the continued willingness of Kimberly-Clark Professional to question industry norms and seek new solutions for some of the complexities related to forestry and sustainability,” said Kerry Cesareo, managing director of World Wildlife Fund’s Forests program. “By 2030 we would need two Earths, even using conservative estimates, to keep up with global demand for food, fiber and fuel. We remain cautious in our optimism regarding these efforts and the eventual solutions to reduce Kimberly-Clark’s forest fiber footprint, but we all certainly need to learn to do ‘more with less.’ We hope an increasing number of companies will follow Kimberly-Clark’s lead and engage in new conversations about how we can collectively navigate sustainable paths in a resource-constrained world.”


The new Kleenex and Scott alternative fiber towel and tissue products join the family of Kimberly-Clark Professional products carrying Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and EcoLogo certifications. Kimberly-Clark Professional currently holds the largest portfolio of FSC certified towel and tissue products in North America, with nearly 97% of its towel and tissue codes carrying this certification.

“These alternative fiber products are an exciting next step in our continuing commitment to fiber leadership as well as for the industry as a whole,” said Howard Connell, global sustainability leader, in a press announcement. “Discovering innovative fiber streams for our material inputs and shifting the way we look at resource consumption while delivering the same quality, performance, and value in our towel and tissue products is a major progression in our ongoing sustainability efforts.”

Currently the Kimberly-Clark Professional Alternative Fiber products are an early phase effort and will only be available through Kimberly-Clark Professional for organizations in the business-to-business segment.

Photo Credit: Kimberly-Clark Professional

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Glenn Meyers

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

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