Ontario's forests up for grabs in Dallas Shareholders, Greenpeace urge Kleenex maker to go green



    DALLAS and TORONTO, April 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The future of Ontario's
forests is being voted on in Texas today, at the annual shareholder meeting of
paper product giant Kimberly-Clark. The maker of Kleenex uses hundreds of
thousands of tonnes of fibre from Ontario's Boreal forest every year to make
disposable products like toilet paper and facial tissue. Inside the meeting,
shareholders and environmentalists are pushing the American multinational to
do what Dalton McGuinty won't: Protect the Boreal forest.
    "Premier McGuinty needs to step in and protect Ontario's Boreal forest,"
said Greenpeace's Richard Brooks from Dallas. "As long as Mr. McGuinty refuses
to act, he's essentially deferring crucial decisions on the future of Ontario
to companies like Kimberly-Clark and their shareholders."
    For the second year in a row, shareholders will vote on a resolution on
the company's impact on forests. Through the resolution, concerned
shareholders are urging Kimberly-Clark to join the growing number of companies
reducing their impacts on ancient forests by dramatically increasing the
recycled content in their products, and ensuring that virgin fibre comes from
operations certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Currently, all Kleenex
brand tissue products in North America are made from 100% virgin tree fibre.
Last year, nearly $2 billion worth of shares voted for the resolution.
    Despite international outcry, Kimberly-Clark continues to source massive
amounts of fibre from Ontario's slow-growing, ancient Boreal forest for
disposable products like Kleenex. In the process, it endangers habitat for
threatened species such as woodland caribou and releases dangerous carbon from
the peat beneath the forest.
    "Around the world, Ontario's Boreal forest is being recognized as an
essential part of the fight to slow global warming," said Greenpeace's Christy
Ferguson in Toronto. "It is unconscionable that our government is standing
idly by while Kimberly-Clark destroys it to make Kleenex and toilet paper."
    One area particularly impacted by Kimberly-Clark is Ontario's
19,000 square kilometer Kenogami forest near Thunder Bay, part of Canada's
Boreal forest. Satellite imagery shows that the area's intact forests
landscapes, a major source of pulp for Kimberly-Clark, have shrunk by 28.9% in
the last five years alone. Only 3.2% of the Kenogami forest is protected by
legislation.




For further information:

For further information: Richard Brooks, Greenpeace Forests Coordinator
(in Dallas), (416) 573-7209; Christy Ferguson, Greenpeace Forests Campaigner
(in Toronto), (416) 451-9354; Jane Story, Greenpeace communications, (416)
930-9055


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