Wednesday, April 04, 2007


This morning's Accounting Policy class session was one of the most difficult hour-and-a-half lectures that I have ever had to endure. To give you an idea of what happened, I must first explain that my professor is on the corporate board of Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a company whose products I refuse to purchase because of its disregard for conservation ethics: More than 80% of the pulp that Kimberly-Clark uses to produce its Kleenex brand tissues is virgin pulp, straight from Canada's ancient Boreal forest. The company is actively engaged in the destruction of one of the last remaining intact biomes in the world, a rich ecosystem which is home to myriad diverse species and is a carbon storehouse whose survival is essential to the fight against global warming. In short, I find that Kimberly-Clark has no environmental ethic whatsoever.

This morning in class we had a guest speaker--the Chief Financial Officer of Kimberly-Clark was there to share with us some of the business practices of the corporation and give us some insight into what makes the company so profitable. I found his talk to be utterly disappointing. He made no mention of Kimberly-Clark's environmental position, even though we are standing in a day and age in which we must take action to curb global warming and otherwise protect our planet which we have ravaged and raped to near-barenness in many locations. Furthermore, he shared with us that Kimberly-Clark is looking at outsourcing much of their human labor to India, where labor is cheap and few investments must be made in the workers to keep them happy since they need the jobs so badly that they will work under nearly any conditions. I was enraged on the inside as I listened to this presentation.

What did I do? Well... I refused the giveaways that our speaker offered. I could not explain why. If my professor were not so linked with Kimberly-Clark, I would have considered confronting the CFO about the company's policies regarding the environment. As it was, however, I felt like I could say nothing without putting my grade in jeopardy. Am I a coward? What would you have done?

If you click on the banner above, you can read about the destruction that Kimberly-Clark is wreaking upon the Boreal forest, and you can send an e-mail to the CEO of Kimberly-Clark, Thomas Falk, as well as to the company's VP of environment, Ken Strassner. You can urge the company to make changes in the way it obtains its pulp for the production of its popular paper products, and you can explain that you will not purchase any Kimberly-Clark products as long as they refuse to change. Please, take this step. We are losing a treasure than can never be replaced, and it disappears a little more each day. It makes a difference. Let them know that we as consumers will not settle for complacency when it comes to our planet.

1 comment:

KleoPatra said...

A very enlightening (and, alas, disheartening) post. I had no idea about K-C's destructive tendencies, and i'll no longer buy their products. I commend you for being able to listen to what was said... and i understand why you had to stay quiet. Frustrating! :(