Local Manufacturing, local resources, local people
Local Manufacturing, local resources, local people
Tork in Kawerau, a long term, sustainable investment
Tork® is proudly manufactured in New Zealand in Kawerau and is an integral part of the local Kiwi community. The Kawerau facility has been producing toilet paper and paper towel for over 55 years and the recent upgrade has helped to guarantee its long-term future.
In this unique and extraordinary part of the world, Tork has worked together with town and tribe to ensure the future success of the area. Initiatives including the introduction of geothermal steam to the paper making process, the revegetation of the banks of the Tarawera River and staff education and training improve employability and foster pride and a sense
Tork Professional Hygiene is the only manufacturer of hygienic tissue paper in New Zealand and according to Mark Stevens, Head of Sales NZ, “This means we have absolute control over our product quality and can ensure that it meets our sustainability objectives. Tork and its predecessor brands have been an integral part of the New Zealand B2B market for many decades. It is quite amazing in today’s environment that we have many customers, in both the private and public sectors, where we have been their sole tissue supplier for more than fifty consecutive years”.
Geothermal indigenous resource
Being geographically placed in an area rich in geothermal activity has its advantages. In 2009 Asaleo Care made significant upgrades to ensure a more sustainable energy balance at the Kawerau site. By working with local Iwi, a partnership was developed with Ngati Tuwharetoa Geothermal Assets (NTGA) to use renewable and naturally produced geothermal steam instead of non-renewable gas. This direct heat supply from underground is such an efficient use of the resource – the total annual carbon dioxide emissions have reduced by 46 percent.
Local Tuwharetoa member, Jimmy Te Hau has worked for Tork since 2009 converting tissue into paper towel and toilet paper. Mr Te Hau believes the sustainable use of the geothermal steam for industry is good for the whole community. He is passionate about his local area and the natural environment.
“We like to keep everything green in Kawerau, it’s a beautiful place and this technology helps look after the workers and the land,” Mr Te Hau adds.
Kawerau is a small community of around seven thousand people, and was established in 1957 around the timber, pulp and paper industry. Kawerau takes its name from a Maori chief who lived in the district. Kawerau was a grandson of Toi-te-huatahi, an ancestor from whom many of the present tribes of the Bay of Plenty descend, including local worker Mr Te Hau.
“I’ve worked at Tork for six years, but my father-in-law has been here for over 40 years,” Mr Te Hau says, “The recent technology they have put into the mill is outstanding and productivity has improved. It’s good for the town to have these jobs, without them the town wouldn’t survive.”
Tork has a training plan for employees and provides opportunities to gain new qualifications. They are also strongly involved in community projects including the famous Wood Skills festival, they participate in local careers days and offer prizes for the local high school and annual fishing competitions and golf tournaments.
Executive General Manager, Tork Professional Hygiene, Sid Takla is proud of the achievements in New Zealand. “We have a long history of supplying locally made Tork tissue to New Zealanders, and our $60 million investment to upgrade the Kawerau site will ensure we continue to provide world-class Tork products for years to come,” Mr Takla said.
Using less, wasting less
Tork has an underlying philosophy of using less wherever possible – in manufacture, energy use and customer usage of products. As using less is one of the simplest ways to reduce your impact.
Through constant monitoring and improvements, the Kawerau site has reduced water consumption by 14 percent and has made a huge 70 percent reduction in waste sent to landfill since 2010.
But when it comes to ensuring a sustainable future in Kawerau, the focus is definitely on more – investment in people, care for the land and business and employment security for this important Kiwi community.
$60 million Kawerau upgrade
The new and improved site in Kawerau manufactures Professional Hygiene products and Consumer Tissue, with a capacity of approximately 58,750 tonnes per annum on its two paper machines, and approximately 62,600 tonnes on its eight converting machines, three folder and five toilet paper converter machines.
- 14,500 square metre conversion hall (as shown)
- 50 metre long state-of-the-art wide-winding machine
- Robotised packing and despatch
Local FSC certified forests
Internationally recognised Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Chain of Custody certification safeguards responsible forestry including wildlife habitats, local communities and worker’s rights are respected. Asaleo Care, parent company of Tork, has FSC certification and the Company’s Responsible Forestry and Fibre Sourcing Policy commits that pulp and paper will only be sourced from suppliers who demonstrate best possible practises in responsible forestry. By utilising nearby Bay of Plenty forestry stocks whenever possible, Tork is further supporting the local community.
Sustainability has always been a focus in NZ and now a growing number of customers require supply chain transparency. So while Tork has the highest number of third-party Ecolabels in the market, they will not rest on their laurels.
Tork are currently undergoing third-party Lifecycle Analysis (LCA) to ensure they provide customers with the transparency and visibility of the whole supply chain that they require.
Tork has a longer term aim of changing the conversation so it’s not just about where the pulp is from, it’s about assessing the full lifecycle – from sourcing to manufacturing, through to end of life.