Final chapter in Skico’s Kleenex saga
September 17, 2008
ASPEN ” Sometimes it’s the debate, not the immediate result, that counts in environmental activism, according to Aspen Skiing Co.’s Auden Schendler.
Case in point, the Kleenex debate of 2007. The Skico banned use of Kimberly Clark Corp.’s signature product ” the name in tissues. The Skico acted on advisement from the Natural Resources Defense Council, which accuses Kimberly Clark of destructive logging and low use of recycled fiber. Kimberly Clark disputes the claims.
“Shortly after announcing the boycott, we received a letter from the CEO of this $32 billion company. In fact, Kimberly Clark sent out a team, including their senior VP of Environmental Affairs, to Aspen to talk to us,” Schendler wrote in the Skico’s 2006-07 sustainability report, a rundown of environmental accomplishments and shortcomings. “In our talks, we asked Kimberly Clark to meet directly with the Natural Resources Defense Council, and helped broker that meeting.”
The meeting, he said, “was a catastrophe.”
“They just didn’t agree, and Kimberly Clark walked out,” Schendler said. (We’ve got to believe that the Kleenex maker found its foes to be, well, snotty.)
Despite the outcome, Schendler maintains the Kleenex saga shows Aspen can use its well-known name as leverage in beneficial environmental causes ” in this case starting a process of change in a “large, powerful corporation.” If it had been anybody but Aspen, Kimberly Clark probably would have ignored the boycott, he said.
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The Skico, by the way, will continue to use Georgia Pacific tissues this ski season.