Cottonsoft Retail Brands sustainable
Cottonsoft Retail Brands Sourced from PEFC-Certified and Sustainable Forest locations
Cottonsoft is aware of the campaign being undertaken by Greenpeace, the New Zealand Green Party and WWF to dissuade consumers from purchasing Cottonsoft products on the grounds, Greenpeace alleges, that Cottonsoft’s sourcing practices are endangering the Sumatran tiger in Indonesia.
“These allegations are entirely erroneous,” says Steve Nicholson, Cottonsoft’s director of corporate affairs. “As one of New Zealand’s leading toilet tissue and paper towel manufacturers, we understand the need to maintain strong sustainability practices. In fact, all of Cottonsoft’s four retail brands have certification under PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), the world’s largest forest certification programme.
“Additionally, Cottonsoft’s supplier APP conserves rare and endangered species, and places the protection of species, such as the Sumatran tiger, at the heart of its operational and CSR policies. Of the area that APP controls, which constitutes 1.5% of Indonesia’s landmass, 40% is set aside for conservation.”
Fibre for the retail brands referred to by Greenpeace in its media release is either PEFC-certified or certified as non-controversial by PEFC, and backed up by verification from international audit organisation SGS. All raw materials sourced from Indonesia and used by Cottonsoft comply with fundamental ILO (International Labour Organization) Conventions in forest management.
Mr Nicholson says, “Greenpeace’s campaign against Cottonsoft is factually inaccurate and groundless, as it does not recognise that all Cottonsoft retail brands use PEFC-certified fibres. As such, Cottonsoft has been unfairly targeted.
“The unfounded attack on our New Zealand business endangers the job security of Cottonsoft’s 130 New Zealand employees in its Auckland and Dunedin plants. That people should be at risk of losing their jobs and having their financial stability threatened because of erroneous allegations is outrageous.”
In its media
release of 21 August, Greenpeace claims
• “Cottonsoft is sourcing its toilet paper from rainforests in Indonesia, home of the critically-endangered Sumatran tiger”
o PEFC assures consumers that the fibre sourcing is non-controversial. In addition, APP sets aside 40% of total forestry concessions for conservation, supports a tiger protection scheme, and recently moved an at-risk tiger from an area of animal / human conflict to a nature reserve (more information below).
“Cottonsoft refused to
disclose where they were sourcing their toilet paper
o Cottonsoft did not participate in the survey Greenpeace is referencing, in part because Greenpeace was unable to provide assurance that any information supplied would be treated as commercially sensitive. In addition, the survey questions incorrectly indicated that the FSC was the only acceptable certification. Greenpeace is extensively involved in the FSC operation, while PEFC is independent.
• “The destruction of Indonesia’s
rainforests is one of the main threats to the survival of
the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, only 400 of which
are estimated to remain in the
o Cottonsoft’s supplier APP controls an area comprising 1.5% of Indonesia’s landmass, and 40% of this is set aside for conservation
o APP conserves rare and endangered species, is a leading supporter of the Sumatran Tiger Conservation Foundation (YPHS), and protects tigers and releases them into safe habitats – recently, it assisted in the release of a five-year-old Sumatran tiger back into the wild. The tiger would have been killed by villagers if it had not be protected and rehabilitated by APP, the Indonesian Government and YPHS
o APP is a prime supporter of tiger protection initiatives and is behind the Senepis Tiger Reserve in Riau province. It also works with several NGOs to address expansion of protected tiger habitats, and is working with YPHS on the suitability of a 178,000-hectare reserve in Riau as a tiger conservation area.
PEFC is currently represented by national members in 34 countries.
To achieve PEFC certification, as it has done, Cottonsoft must maintain or enhance biodiversity, protect ecologically important forest areas, prohibit forest conversions, protect workers’ rights and welfare, prohibit the most hazardous chemicals and GMOs, and recognize the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, and ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.