As a leading provider of hygiene and personal care products in New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and a number of other countries in the Pacific, Asaleo Care strives to provide environmentally sound products and services. Continuing to maintain a leadership position in sustainability requires the company to focus on embedding leading practices.
With a stable of well-known brands, many of which have been in the market for more than 60 years such as Purex, Treasures, Tork® and Handee, Asaleo Care takes its environmental responsibilities seriously, implementing an environmental management system early on.
Asaleo Care Sustainability Manager Jane Mansfield says the company also recognised that ecolabelling certification was integral to both the company’s environmental values and product positioning. “We wanted a way to make it easier for our consumers and customers to understand the effort we put into ensuring our locally manufactured products meet very stringent environmental and social standards for all aspects of the production process.”
In response, Jane says Asaleo Care sought an independent ecolabel programme that had a robust accreditation process, was globally recognised, consumers could trust and that aligned with the company’s approach to sustainability, and Environmental Choice NZ’s stringent accreditation system addressed these requirements.
“As a member of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN), along with other well-respected ecolabels such as Nordic Swan in Europe and Greenseal in North America, ECNZ is committed to ensuring that their standards address a variety of environmental criteria across the life cycle of products in a transparent way. The ECNZ specifications are regularly reviewed and updated in line with increasing international standards, which means we can be confident our ECNZ-certified products meet international standards and the ECNZ ecolabel is one consumers can trust.”
As a company, Asaleo Care was also thorough in developing its environmental practices. That included switching most of the fossil fuel use at its Kawerau production site from natural gas to locally produced geothermal steam in 2010, as part of an ongoing partnership with Ngati Tuwharetoa Geothermal Assets. Direct heat supply from steam is the most efficient use of the resource, and was harnessed for production to ensure a more sustainable energy balance.
Jane says the company also places a strong emphasis on the renewability and recyclability of the raw materials it uses in the manufacture of its paper products. “Our ECNZ-accredited products are made from 100% responsible, Forest Stewardship Council-certified fibre sources, proving they are produced under sustainable forestry guidelines, and we undertake extensive due diligence around source-of-origin. This is important to our company ethos and our consumers, who are increasingly seeking sustainably managed products.”
Jane says the benefits the company sees arising from its ECNZ certification centre around transparency, and the credibility and trust engendered by the label, along with its alignment to Asaleo Care’s whole sustainability ethos.
With a focus on offering environmentally sound and high-quality products that consumers love, the company has become a dominant player in the market, with a strong reputation for responsible environmental practices and ongoing improvements.
Since changing its Kawerau plant over to geothermal steam, Asaleo Care’s total annual CO2 emissions have reduced by 46%, says Jane. “With around 80% of New Zealand’s electricity generated from renewable sources and more than 50% of that from hydro generation we believe we must be one of the lowest carbon-emitting mills of its kind in the world.
“But we don’t stop there. We’re committed to transparency across all our environmental practices and seek the same from our suppliers and subcontractors.”
Asaleo Care recently became the first company in the New Zealand market to develop and publish Environmental Product Declarations for tissue products, which has set the benchmark for sustainable tissue manufacturing in New Zealand in a way that is credible, transparent and comparable.
Asaleo Care is a leading personal care and hygiene company that manufactures, markets, distributes and sells essential everyday consumer products across the feminine care, incontinence care, baby care, consumer tissue and professional hygiene product categories.
Asaleo Care’s purpose is “to make it easier for hygiene, health and wellbeing to be part of everyday life”. With operations in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, the company’s portfolio of market-leading brands includes Sorbent, Handee, Purex, Libra, Treasures, Deeko, TENA, Tork®, Viti and Orchid.