Scores on how responsibly companies source their wood fibres for tissue products 2006

The information below provides insights into the scoring results of Georgia Pacific, Kimberly Clark, Metsä Tissue, Procter and Gamble and SCA Tissue

Scores on how responsibly companies source their wood fibres for tissue products 2006 rel=
Scores on how responsibly companies source their wood fibres for tissue products 2006
© WWF
GREEN: on the right track
YELLOW: showing encouraging signs but still major issues to address
RED: need substantial improvements


The problem:
The 5 tissue giants purchase wood fibres for tissue products from key forest regions around the world, including Canada, Latin America, South Africa, Russia, USA, Europe and Asia. Land rights conflicts, forest destruction, irresponsible plantations management and illegal harvesting of timber are key issues associated with many of these forest regions.

The tissue giants need to be part of the solution:
It is only possible for companies to prevent wood fibres from contentious sources finding their way into tissue products if they
  • explicitly commit themselves to excluding illegal and controversial sources,
  • commit themselves to proactively promoting responsible forest management
  • and then put in place the necessary mechanisms, implementation steps, enforcement and monitoring mechanisms to enable them to honour these commitments.

The scoring results:

WWF has investigated how the companies handle this issue with the following results...

Do the companies have an explicit goal to exclude timber from illegal and controversial sources in their official policies?
  • SCA Tissue and Metsä Tissue are the only two companies which can show that their current official policies specifically exclude: the sourcing of illegally harvested timber; sourcing from forests with high biodiversity value; sourcing from forests where the rights of local communities and indigenous people are being compromised; and sourcing from natural forests which are being converted into plantations.
  • Kimberly Clark scores the same for their sourcing policy as in 2005, which highlights gaps on most aspects of illegal and controversial sources. Kimberly Clark has shared a new draft policy with WWF which would address most of these gaps in the policy, but WWF is unable to award the company a positive score for this until the policy has actually come into effect and been published on its website. WWF strongly urges Kimberly Clark to follow through with a new and strengthened forest policy, and to adopt effective procedures and mechanisms required to fully implement the policy.
  • Although Georgia Pacific has revised its sourcing policy it is still not explicitly aiming to exclude controversial sources other than illegal logging.
  • Procter and Gamble scores the same for its policy as in 2005 as it is still failing to address the issue of forest conversion in its policy.

Can the companies exclude the most problematic wood fibres
  • As was the case in 2005, only SCA Tissue currently shows evidence that the necessary implementation, enforcement and monitoring mechanisms are in place to ensure that illegal and controversial sources are eliminated from their supply chain. It has fully adopted WWF’s advice on this issue.
  • All the other companies report that they have put in place some type of tracking system, strengthening what they had in place in the 2005. However, from the information provided, WWF is unable to judge whether a) their systems address all aspects of the supply chain and b) their suppliers have also been asked to develop such a system. A key gap for all companies is the lack of third party audit of their systems which would provide credibility and assurance to their tracking systems.
  • Metsä Tissue, Georgia Pacific, Kimberly Clark and Procter and Gamble
  • In the scoring WWF further requires companies to publicly report on progress and to allow a third party review of the implementation of their policy.
  • Both Procter and Gamble and Metsä Tissue were able to demonstrate examples to WWF of how they are influencing suppliers. This has been partially credited in the scoring – however WWF urges the companies to put their enforcement on a more systematic and standardised basis and also to provide more evidence of how their efforts are leading to actual change on the groundhave not yet shown WWF that they are screening all their suppliers against all aspects of illegal and controversial sources (this is partially due to gaps in the polices). Further, the companies need to demonstrate more convincingly how they enforce their policies in a standardised way, and without loopholes. This would need to include clarity about the steps they are undertaking to either help suppliers improve within a certain timeframe, or to phase out controversial sources/suppliers if improvements are not made within a clear timeframe.

Are the companies proactive on the issue of responsible plantation management and establishment?

  • Plantations are a significant source of wood fibres for the tissue giants. They are not inherently good or bad, but it is important how and where they are established and how they are managed - with care for nature and people.
  • Plantations can have devastating effects on nature through the conversion of valuable natural forests into large scale monocultures, the use of chemicals, soil and water depletion and they can have negative effects on people living in surrounding communities.
  • Only SCA Tissue currently has showed a convincing mechanism through its new sourcing policy that can address this.
  • In general the companies need to do more to proactively improve plantations establishment or management leading to actual effect on the ground - in the regions they source pulp from.
  • WWF encourages those companies that have engaged in more dialogue on plantations since the last score to follow through with positive indications which could be credited in the 2007 score.

How the companies actually improve plantations management and how they make a difference on the ground will be re-assessed in the next scoring in 2007.

How do the tissue giants use certification – as driver for good forest management or as badge of convenience?
  • Only one company, SCA Tissue, has improved their sourcing policy since 2005 to include as its ultimate goal sourcing from FSC certified forests and a commitment to support and encourage pulp suppliers to obtain FSC certification.
  • All the other companies continue as in 2005 to consider various certification systems to be of equal value, a judgement that WWF disagrees with. This apparent reliance on certification systems without any form of differentiation fails to address the sourcing issues raised by WWF. It demonstrates that the companies are not seriously aiming to improve forest management through the use of certification. WWF currently only considers FSC certification as a credible mechanism to ensure forest management to the highest environmental and social standards in timber source regions.
  • WWF cannot substantiate Procter and Gamble's positive indication from 2005 to consider sourcing FSC in situations of high social and human rights risk, which is disappointing.

Current use of FSC certified fibres in Europe:

Despite the companies’ reluctance about FSC, all of the companies are in fact currently sourcing FSC fibres. Please note that the following figures use data supplied by the companies; they are not chain of custody verified.

  • SCA Tissue: 45% (reported as about the same amount as in 2005)
  • Procter and Gamble: 29% (same as in 2005)
  • Metsä Tissue: 11% (increase by 6% since 2005)
  • Georgia Pacific: 25% (reported as an increase)
  • Kimberly Clark: 12.5% (reduction since 2005 down from 20,8%)

WWF recommendation for responsible sourcing

  • The tissue giants need to explicitly commit themselves to exclude illegal and controversial sources, put in place mechanisms, implementation steps, enforcement and monitoring mechanisms which actually help them to live up to this commitment and proactively source FSC fibres.

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