Tulane kicks Kimberly-Clark off campus!

From the Greenpeace Students’ Network: “Hi ya’ll! My name is Laney White, and I am spring 2009 graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans. I am writing to tell you the great news: Tulane just kicked Kimberly-Clark off campus!!!”

After working with the campus’s Facilities Services throughout the spring semester, my environmental group, Tulane Environmental Action League (TEAL), and I convinced the University to drop Kimberly-Clark, which uses wood clearcut from ancient forests to produce disposable products, in favor of a more sustainable company. Over the course of this summer, Tulane will be making the switch!

Despite obstacles like an apathetic student body, TEAL discovered that the concerted efforts of a small group of individuals could alter how a university chooses to do business. Over a series of meetings with Facilities Services, my student group presented viable alternatives to Kimberly-Clark and provided clear, well-researched arguments for making the switch. Persistence in communication with Facilities was crucial, as was coordinating with potential allies on campus. Tulane’s Office of Environmental Affairs, which is currently working to obtain LEED certification for some buildings on campus, was instrumental in helping make the final push for the switch because the new products will earn the buildings additional LEED points.

As a school located in New Orleans, the Tulane community has a greater stake in climate change and environmental stewardship than the average university. Placed on the frontlines of global warming, the impacts of the clearcutting practices supported by corporations like Kimberly-Clark have the potential to disproportionately affect the Crescent City. Kicking Kimberly-Clark off of Tulane’s campus is a small change that, when joined with the efforts of likeminded students across the country, has the potential to alter the market, change Kimberly-Clark’s practices, and have a huge impact!

I plan to continue my work as an environmental leader and look forward to working with many of you as we work to save the planet from climate catastrophe in the coming years. It is our actions, together, that will determine history and the fate of our planet.

For a green and peaceful future,
Laney White
Tulane University
Class of 2009

3 thoughts on “Tulane kicks Kimberly-Clark off campus!

  1. Avatarcopy cat

    I would ask a couple of questions about the college’s decision to change the supplier of the disposable products mentioned in the article.

    1. Was the alternative that the college ultimately chose more expensive (monetarily)than the Kimberly-Clark products had been?

    2. If so, Who is responsible for paying the extra costs associated with the change?

    Will the change result in higher tuition costs? or fewer slots in classes (less access to higher education)? Will some worthy scholar be told that there is no room for him, because others did not like a particular brand of paper towel?

    something to think about.

  2. AvatarBrother Jonah

    Or maybe you have investments in K.C. and are pissed that your corporate partners couldn’t muscle a contract…

    Or maybe you feel that “all corporate citizens are equal, but some are more equal than others” in other words, the College isn’t allowed to decide what businesses they’ll invest in.

    Also some paper companies have a nasty habit of cutting costs by cheating their employees, cutting corners on safety, cutting corners on pollution controls, things like that. Maybe the College decided that the K-C business model was too expensive in Macro-Economic terms to accept buying a “cheaper” brand.

    maybe they don’t like having to pay extra in water purification because some of Kimberly Clarks products, like the disposable diaper line, contribute so heavily to pollution of the groundwater, which thus has to be either cleaned out, or drank dirty.

    Perhaps you’d enjoy a nice drink of well water drawn from a source next to a landfill full of K.C. products.

    Little expenses like that.

    But the College isn’t allowed to make its own economic decisions without your corporate help.

    For somebody who says “freedom” and “liberty” you sure are heavily into Corporate Dictatorship.

    Which is what it is, you know. The so-called “Free Market” with the subsidized Oil, Coal, Gas, Timber (including PAPER) industries, has a very few Large Corporations which, according to your expressed philosophy, should be allowed to dictate to the rest of us simply because they have more money.

    Most of it, like the Timber (PAPER) products industry, are subsidized. The trees taken for the paper are PUBLICLY OWNED. Your corporations don’t actually own any more of them than the “tree huggers” who chain themselves to the trees and disrupt the Earth-killing deforestation operations do.

    Any “privately owned” land in America was taken from the original inhabitants at gunpoint, and the PEOPLE who objected were murdered, again subsidized at Public Expense.

  3. AvatarBrother Jonah

    But, hey, Tulane should sell itself and all its students into the Yes sir yes sir three bags full sir ‘Obedience To Corporations’ mentality you so avidly preach.

    You don’t give a rats ass about the quality of education offered and when you say you do, you are once again lying.

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