Sustainability Is Disrupting the Toilet Paper and Tissue Market, Finds NRDC’s “Issue with Tissue” 2023 Report & Scorecard

Half of Top-Ranked Brands in NRDC’s Report Launched in the Past 5 Years. Meanwhile, P&G’s Charmin Is Still Bringing Up the Rear & Gets “F” Grade  

WASHINGTON – NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) today released the fifth edition of its Issue with Tissue report and sustainability scorecard (grading at-home toilet paper brands from “A+” to “F”). Large volumes of pulp from Canada’s climate-critical boreal forest are used to make toilet paper – the ultimate disposable product. Since NRDC started scoring tissue brands in 2019, increased consumer awareness has led investors, retailers, and consumers to push the toilet paper and tissue market to embrace solutions for greater forest protection in the face of extensive clearcutting, wildfires, and habitat loss. 

“Sustainability is proving to be a disruptive force in the toilet paper and tissue market. Half the toilet paper brands that received A and B grades in NRDC’s 2023 Issue with Tissue scorecard launched within the past five years,” said Ashley Jordan, NRDC’s Boreal Corporate Campaign Advocate. “Embracing transformative innovation remains not only a vital step toward creating a more forest-friendly and climate-safe economy–it’s essential for companies like P&G to stay competitive in an increasingly sustainability-conscious marketplace.” 

The top three major American tissue makers—P&G, Kimberly-Clark, and Georgia-Pacific—earned “F” scores across each of their flagship brands like Charmin, Cottonelle, and Quilted Northern across all five editions of NRDC’s Issue with Tissue scorecard.  

P&G has a particularly egregious record on sustainable tissue sourcing. In 2020, shareholders passed a landmark resolution directing the company to report on if and how it can eliminate deforestation and forest degradation from its supply chains. Despite this clear order from two-thirds of voting shareholders, P&G has doubled down on its existing operating model. Following a complaint filed by NRDC, the company now faces the prospect of SEC scrutiny for misleading shareholders regarding its wood pulp sourcing practices. 

“Procter & Gamble tissue and toilet paper products are falling far behind consumer demand, investor expectations, and the regulatory environment. If brands like Charmin want to keep up with the times, they need to opt into a much more sustainable future that doesn't rely on climate-critical forests,” said Shelley Vinyard, NRDC’s Boreal Corporate Campaign Director 

Descendants of P&G founders William Procter and James Gamble are using their unique connection to the company and their power as shareholders to push P&G to step into a leadership role and contribute to solutions to the climate crisis. In a letter sent to shareholders and filed as an exempt solicitation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), earlier this month, a group of descendants wrote, “The increasing severity of extreme weather events, including the record-setting wildfires in Canada threaten global supply chains, and as a result, P&G’s bottom line. Ironically, P&G’s own unsustainable sourcing of pulp from the boreal forest in Canada both contributes to the climate crisis and weakens forest resilience, both of which are widely agreed to be key drivers of the wildfires that will likely impact the company’s pulp supply chain moving forward.” 

Key Findings of the Issue with Tissue Fifth Edition report include: 

NRDC scored 145 tissue products in three categories: toilet paper, paper towels, and facial tissue. Among the 145 products scored, 20 received an “A” grade and 15 received an “A+,” with brands that use postconsumer recycled content receiving the highest grades overall given their lower carbon footprint and reduced forest impact. (See the searchable scorecard here) 

NRDC evaluated 63 toilet paper brands: 13 toilet papers made with recycled materials rolled in with an “A” or “A+” score in the 2023 scorecard, with Trader Joe’s, 365 by Whole Foods Market (100% Recycled), Natural Value, and Green Forest nabbing the top spots. Major brands like Charmin, Cottonelle, and Quilted Northern brought up the rear with “F” scores.  

Of the toilet paper brands reviewed in this year’s scorecard, half of the “A” and “B” grade brands were launched within only the past five years. Since the launch of our initial Issue with Tissue scorecard in 2019, grocery store chains like Target and H-E-B have broadened access to sustainable products through new private label lines of 100 percent recycled content tissue products. In addition, bamboo brands have been on the rise in the last five years, reflecting the growing market for toilet paper made from alternative fibers.  

Download NRDC’s Toilet Paper Scorecard (PDF): LINK  
Download the Issue with Tissue Fifth Edition report: LINK 
NEW THIS YEAR – Search the Issue with Tissue Fifth Edition Scorecard: LINK
NRDC’s Ashley Jordan’s blog on the new report: LINK 
Boreal forest photography: Photo credit is required: River Jordan for NRDC: LINK and then enter the password: NRDC_IssueTissue 
B-roll (video) of the Boreal forest in Ontario: LINK and enter the password: NRDC_IssueTissue 

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Established in 1970, NRDC uses science, policy, law, and people power to confront the climate crisis, protect public health, and safeguard nature. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, Beijing and Delhi (an office of NRDC India Pvt. Ltd). Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC. 

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