Procter & Gamble Controversy Heats Up In Cincinnati

May 5, 2021

The growing controversy around consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G)’s failure to distance itself from irresponsible suppliers who violate human rights and degrade healthy, intact forests is heating up.

Several of P&G’s lumber suppliers cut down climate-critical forests in North America for use in manufacturing Charmin toilet paper. This, in turn, harms the environment as well as Indigenous communities and species that rely on these forests. When asked to switch to more environmentally conscientious suppliers, P&G refused. Last October, P&G’s shareholders stepped in, voting overwhelmingly to protect forests. Nearly six months have passed, and management is still sourcing from the same old irresponsible group. These P&G practices are out of alignment with its core values and culture.

Over the last few weeks thousands of residents of Cincinnati, OH – home to P&G – have learned of deforestation in Canada and Malaysia, and Cincinnatians are growing increasingly concerned about it.

Door-to-door neighborhood canvas

Literature distribution

Throughout March and April, teams of Stand.Earth activists have spread throughout Cincinnati to distribute postcards, signage, and stickers to residents of the city. 

Postcards postcards

Face-to-face, out in the community, people constantly tell us that they are aware of Charmin’s harmin’. For example, a local coffee barista commented, “Oh I heard about this campaign and I actually switched my toilet paper because of it! I used to be a loyal Charmin customer, but not now!” Encountering a group of young hip hop artists performing on the sidewalk, we handed them all postcards, and they actually started rapping the text from the lit! Nothing gets attention like inspired music.

The project was full of lucky moments. We had several serendipitous run-ins with executives while we were out, one of which ended in a fruitful conversation between a P&G decision maker and a leader from the Young Activist Coalition, Yousuf Munir. P&G staff were able to see postcards everywhere; on cars, on doorsteps, in coffee shops, and in restaurants. Our hope is that they felt surrounded by truth about their forest destruction.


Stickers reading “Charmin: 100% Fresh-Cut Forests – 0% Recycled” were placed throughout downtown and in high foot traffic areas around Cincinnati.

We put the stickers everywhere; on traffic signs, benches, lamp posts, electrical boxes, and even a few people put them on their own cars! People tell us they see them all over town and this leads to great discussions about the issue. We always let people know how they can get involved, and as a result more and more people are helping us make P&G do the right thing.

Allies from NYC to Chicago to San Francisco have been sent stickers. They’re seen everywhere in their own neighborhoods and even on Charmin packages in local grocery stores!

Light Projections

For several nights over the last few weeks, mysterious light projections have popped up at various locations throughout the downtown Cincinnati area.

“P&G Destroys Forests,” was seen several times from I-75. The projection glared out from the Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati. The same projection was seen from I-71 on the Lytle building where thousands of motorists traveling on the busy interstate saw this message.

The word is getting around: P&G Destroys Forests. We’ve worked on their Board. We’ve called out to their shareholders and users. This time we targeted their hometown. Sooner or later they’ll see the light.