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Woolworths becomes first Australian retailer to join Forest Stewardship Council

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Woolworths becomes first Australian retailer to join Forest Stewardship Council

September 28, 2012 - 10:15
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BELLA VISTA, Australia, Sept. 28, 2012 (Press Release) -To mark FSC Friday, Woolworths Limited has today confirmed its commitment to sustainable sourcing by becoming the first major Australian retailer to achieve membership of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

On FSC Friday, which is being held today, people are invited to consider the wood and paper products they buy and look for the FSC logo, the mark of responsible forestry.

The retailer already sells a number of FSC certified products including an exclusive range of outdoor timber furniture at BIG W and more than 500 lines of FSC certified timber and panel products at Masters Home Improvement.

In addition, Woolworths supermarkets has today announced its first own brand products to achieve FSC certification with customers now able to purchase FSC certified Homebrand toilet paper and facial tissues.

Woolworths Head of Corporate Responsibility, Community and Sustainability, Armineh Mardirossian, said joining the FSC was part of Woolworths' ongoing sustainability strategy, "What our customers have been increasingly telling us is that they want to do the right thing but they want us to make it easy and affordable for them; they want to know where their products come from and how they're made.

"Today's announcement of Woolworths' membership of the FSC follows on from our partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, all of which are part of our strategy to ensure our own brand products are sourced in a sustainable manner with credible and independent certification.

"Partnering with the FSC is a key step towards Woolworths' aim of having net zero deforestation through our own brand supply chains by 2020.

"Woolworths sells 37 million rolls of Homebrand toilet tissue and six million boxes of Homebrand facial tissue annually with these products becoming FSC certified our customers can play their part in protecting native forests. As Homebrand is our entry‐level own brand range it brings sustainably sourced products within reach of all Australians," said Mardirossian.

CEO of FSC Australia, Natalie Reynolds, said, "FSC Australia welcomes the corporate leadership shown by Woolworths Limited in joining us and supporting us to drive change up the supply chain. This is the kind of action our world needs for a sustainable future."

FSC certified Homebrand toilet paper and facial tissues are now available in all Woolworths supermarkets.

Woolworths' partnership with FSC follows previous announcements including, in 2009, the supermarket becoming Australia's first to commit to moving its own brand products to 100 per cent sustainable palm oil and the 2011 launch of its sustainable fish sourcing strategy which aims to empower customers to make more sustainable fish choices.