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General

Tork is first to uncover the impact of composting hand towels

02/12/2019

Through life cycle assessment, Tork has found  composting hand towels with commercial composters instead of disposing in landfill reduces greenhouse gas emissions by around 50 percent.
 
Life cycle assessment was completed by thinkstep-anz as part of new Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) on a number of Tork products. Each EPD outlines the Global Warming Potential (carbon footprint), which quantifies the potential of greenhouse gases – such as carbon dioxide and methane – to increase absorption of heat reaching Earth’s atmosphere, intensifying the natural greenhouse effect. 
 
In 2016, Tork were the first tissue company in Australasia to produce EPDs. A published EPD is an independently verified and registered document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the environmental impact of a product through its entire life cycle.
Tork regularly add more products to its  EPDs which  now include some interesting statistics about composting hand towels. The most popular Tork Conventional, Jumbo and Mini Jumbo toilet paper products, Multifold and Ultraslim hand towels, Roll and Kitchen towel products, as well as Xpressnap dispenser napkins, have all been analysed.
 
"We were attracted to EPDs for Tork because of their transparency, credibility and ability to address the product's entire life cycle. We have both quantified our environmental impacts and disclosed this information publicly for a range of products," said Rochelle Lake, Head of Marketing, B2B. "EPDs also allow us to identify ‘hot spots’ within our value chain -  where improvements can be made to reduce environmental impact, such as through composting of hand towels."
 
The EPDs also show that Tork toilet paper and hand towels that are manufactured at Kawerau have been produced with 64 to 76 percent renewable energy from cradle-to-grave. This is  a direct result of  using  geothermal steam in the paper making process and also of New Zealand’s high proportion of renewable energy within the grid. 
 
The recent $23 million upgrade of the Kawerau facility is now undergoing further assessment and additional EPDs will be available in 2020. With improved efficiencies and less packaging waste they are sure to outline a further reduction in climate impact.
 
Resources:
 
EPDs: 
Environmental Product Declaration for Toilet Tissue - EPD registration number: S-P-00852.
Environmental Product Declaration for Hand Towels - EPD registration number: S-P-00851
 
AsaleoCare Climate Leaders Coalition case study prepared by thinkstep-anz
 
BACKGROUND
 
About Tork
Tork is the leading global brand in workplace hygiene. From paper towels in hospital washrooms to napkin dispensers in restaurant dining rooms, Tork delivers a great experience for the user and a convenient experience for the buyer. Tork is dedicated to serving your needs in a sustainable way – saving you time, money and effort, so you can focus on what matters most to your business. SCA licence the Tork trademark exclusively to Asaleo Care for use in Australasia.
 
To keep up with the latest Tork news and innovations, please visit: www.tork.com.au or www.tork.co.nz
 
About thinkstep-anz
thinkstep-anz’s mission is to enable organisations worldwide to succeed sustainably, by developing strategies, delivering roadmaps and projects, and implementing leading software solutions. We help organisations such as Bega Cheese, Downer, Dulux, Fletcher Building, Infrabuild (Liberty OneSteel), Knauf Plasterboard, and Zip Water to embed sustainability in their organisations and products. 
 
thinkstep-anz is a member of the Climate Leaders Coalition and a Certified B Corp, has an approved science-based target and is a member of the Sustainable Business Council. thinkstep-anz is headquartered in Wellington and is part of the global thinkstep group, with 300 sustainability experts worldwide.
 
For more information visit www.thinkstep-anz.com
 
About EPD Australasia
EPD Australasia provides a platform across Australia and New Zealand for communicating credible environmental information. It is aligned with the International EPD® System to enable a harmonised and efficient platform for global EPD development and communication.
 
For more information visit www.epd-australasia.com