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(L to R) Chair of NZ Ecolabelling Trust Richard Tong, International Speaker Debbie Mayo-Smith, Cottonsoft Country Manager Kim Calvert, Cottonsoft Quality Assurance Manager Greg Gavegan.

Cottonsoft is celebrating. Following the recent expansion of its Dunedin manufacturing facility and having earned the ECNZ (Environmental Choice New Zealand) ecolabel in 2013 after a rigorous auditing process, the toilet tissue and paper towel manufacturer has now been named the 2014 winner of the annual ECNZ innovation award.

The ECNZ ecolabel, which is government-owned, covers over 2000 products and services. ECNZ is the New Zealand member of the Global Ecolabelling Network.

“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.”

The company was founded in Dunedin and 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 and purchased new embossing rollers that enable the production of additional brands, Paseo and Tuffy. The Dunedin plant has capacity to meet the demand for Cottonsoft’s retail products throughout the South Island (a total production of 300 pallets per month), including warehousing and distribution needs.

Cottonsoft Country Manager Kim Calvert says: “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.” 

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