While the New Zealand-based Cottonsoft held a global certification PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) since 2009 and had been using certified paper since well before then, it also sought to gain New Zealand-based certification.
Cottonsoft Country Manager New Zealand, Kim Calvert says the business recognised early on that sustainability was critical to business.
In addition to its existing global PEFC certification the company also wanted to meet the highest environmental standard in New Zealand.
In 2011 Cottonsoft selected Environmental Choice New Zealand and took steps toward gaining Environmental Choice certification.
Calvert says when they were looking for local certification they sought a programme that was reputable and would give consumers confidence they were getting value.
“We researched consumer recognition of certification labels and Environmental Choice New Zealand was a clear winner.”
We proactively sought a highly regarded programme that offered independent verification through a third party auditing process so consumers could trust that the hard work had been done.”
Independent assessors reviewed Cottonsoft’s supply chain and batch control of fibre content during the production and converting process.
Cottonsoft has made sustainability a part of its normal business practice. The company participates in regular audits and shares data and reports to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to sustainability. More than 98 per cent of waste at its New Zealand-based converting plants is recycled, and its Auckland site is designed to maximise use of natural light, minimising lighting needs.
“We have followed the supply chain from the source. We continue to work on our supply security and are using wood pulp from renewable plantation forests. We use certified paper so the traceability and control gives us the confidence that we were doing the right thing.”
“The benefit of Environmental Choice is it provides absolute certainty for the consumer that our product is sustainable. The logo is a simple way of communicating that. Through Environmental Choice we demonstrate it and that’s invaluable.”
With nearly half their product range certified Cottonsoft has incorporated the Environmental Choice license requirements into their business processes. In 2014 Cottonsoft was awarded Innovator of the Year by Environmental Choice.
Located in Dunedin and Auckland Cottonsoft has been in business for 25 years in New Zealand. It is a tissue-converting company which manufactures toilet tissue and paper towels for New Zealand's supermarkets and commercial organisations. Its retail product range includes Tuffy Paper Towel and Paseo, CottonSofts and KiwiSoft Toilet Tissue.