KMB » Topics » Supporting Statement

This excerpt taken from the KMB DEF 14A filed Mar 4, 2008.
 Supporting Statement
 
Kimberly-Clark has avoided setting numerical goals or benchmarks for the use of recycled content for its North American consumer product lines, which in the opinion of the proponents makes our company vulnerable to boycotts and to competitors who have integrated higher percentages of quality recycled fiber into their products.
 
The Ontario Forest Management Plan for the Kenogami Forest (MU #350, 2000-2005 and 2005-2010) establishes that pulp milling is impacting intact and endangered forest, including critical habitat for


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woodland caribou in Canada’s Boreal Forest. Kimberly-Clark has been associated with the purchase of Kenogami Forest sourced pulp.
 
With company operations expanding globally and existing fiber supplies changing, proponents believe there is an increased likelihood that wood from forests associated with human rights abuses, land disputes, severe habitat destruction, and conflict with indigenous communities will enter the Kimberly-Clark supply stream.
 
Proponents believe the company’s current practices are unsustainable and therefore merit higher level consideration as would be encouraged by a Board-level committee. The committee would be authorized to initiate, review, and make policy recommendations regarding the company’s preparation to adapt to changes in marketplace and environmental conditions that may present risks and opportunities that affect the sustainability of our business. Issues related to sustainability might include, but are not limited to: vulnerability of natural resource supplies, global climate change contributing to political instability, human rights issues related to resource extraction, emerging concerns regarding toxicity of materials, and biodiversity loss.
 
Supporting Statement:
 
Proponents believe that our company’s current practices present serious risks to long-term shareholder value. Kimberly-Clark should develop policies to ensure a long-term sustainable supply of raw materials and mitigate reputational risks by procuring fiber certified using credible standards.
 
We believe a thorough feasibility study should discuss the Company’s goals and timeframes with respect to:
 
  •  Increasing the use of FSC-certified fiber with the goal of phasing out virgin fiber certified by less credible certification schemes; and
 
  •  Increasing the use of recycled fiber in both consumer and commercial products as a means to reduce reliance on virgin materials.
 
The study should consider Kimberly-Clark’s role in the marketplace, and assess the potential impact of Kimberly-Clark’s purchasing practices on the availability of FSC-certified fiber.
 
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