Cottonsoft follows up expansion of Dunedin operation with award for innovation
Operating in the highly competitive FMCG space, toilet tissue and paper towel manufacturer Cottonsoft is cementing its market leadership following the recent expansion of its Dunedin manufacturing facility. Having earned the sought-after ECNZ (Environmental Choice New Zealand) ecolabel in 2013 after a rigorous auditing process, the company is now celebrating being named the 2014 winner of the annual ECNZ innovation award.
The company, which was founded in Dunedin, has consolidated its presence in the South Island and its status as the only company in its sector to maintain a manufacturing presence on the mainland. In recent years, the industry trend has been towards centralized or offshore production, but in 2013 the company signed a four-year extension to the lease on the building it has occupied since 1999, hired a new staff member, and purchased new embossing rollers that enable the production of additional Cottonsoft brands Paseo and Tuffy.
Altogether, the Dunedin plant has capacity to meet the demand for Cottonsoft’s retail products throughout the island (a total production of 300 pallets per month), and can meet all South Island warehousing and distribution needs.
Meanwhile, the Cottonsoft team is proud to have become an award winner. The ECNZ ecolabel, which is government-owned, covers over 2,000 products and services, and Cottonsoft was judged the most innovative new environmental license holder for 2014.
To find a winner, independent environmental scientists examined every new ecolabel holder for innovation in environmental benefits, changes they made in order to meet the label’s stringent standards, the ingenuity of their label application, and the thoroughness of their dealings with the ecolabel. “Cottonsoft scored well ahead of many other very worthy label-holders,” says ECNZ General Manager Robin Taylor. “The company was especially impressive in its willingness to make changes that put it in the forefront of environmental practice.”
Cottonsoft Country Manager Kim Calvert says the win is the icing on the cake following the hard-earned certification and progress in Dunedin.
“The process of earning the ECNZ ecolabel was a robust one, and we are grateful now to have been recognized for our innovation. The backing of our supplier APP was crucial to our ability to expand our manufacturing footprint and demonstrate that we can, and do, produce high-quality goods at competitive prices using market-leading sustainability practices.”
APP has itself been in the news, with the announcement in late April that the Indonesian company, the largest in its sector globally, has committed to supporting and restoring the conservation of one million hectares of forest across Indonesia, an area almost double the size of the Auckland region. It is a move Cottonsoft applauds, and one that takes APP well beyond its legal conservation requirements.
In all, Mr Calvert says, the company’s progress reflects its commitment to local converting and a drive for new business growth that acknowledges consumer demand for evidence of best practice. “To have maintained our market leadership status through the recession, which was brutal for the manufacturing sector, was a point of pride, and we are building on what we achieved in 2013.”