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SCA and NHS discuss sustainability

Published 3rd October, 2011 by Neil Nixon

SCA and NHS discuss sustainability

Two representatives of NHS Supply Chain discovered how Tork paper products gave NHS trusts a sustainable product choice during a recent visit to SCA’s forests and mills in Sweden. And both NHS Supply Chain nbsp;employees declared themselves to be impressed by the sustainability of SCA’s operation.

“We took a team from NHS Supply Chain to see our Swedish operation because they wanted to see how we managed our forests and monitored our processes,” said SCA UK and Ireland marketing manager Jacqui Dilley. “The aim was to give them a complete picture of how our tissue is produced, from its forest origins right through to the finished product.”

The visit assessed work at SCA’s seed orchards, tree nurseries and forests together with the company’s Sundsvall pulp mill and a converting mill.

Sophie Cros, sustainable procurement manager of NHS Supply Chain, said: “The need to reduce carbon emissions is becoming increasingly important in the NHS, and I was particularly impressed by the carbon neutral element of SCA’s operations. The company’s forest management - and the biodiversity achieved in SCA’s forests - were also impressive. Sustainability is obviously a major element in SCA’s culture and its forest management is very much a long-term operation.”

Diane Woodham, NHS Supply Chain’s paper hygiene products buyer, said: “Our aim was to gain a better understanding of all the cost elements that make up the whole supply chain from the seedlings to the final product. SCA came across as a very professional and sustainably-run operation. I was very impressed by the company’s water management and by the way it runs its forests.”

As an example she mentioned the fact that discarded twigs and branches are intentionally left behind in SCA’s forests after harvesting. Insects then inhabit them and break them down into mulch, which in turn attracts other wildlife.

SCA owns 2.6 million hectares of forest, making it Europe’s largest private forest owner. The company’s forest management is certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) standard, which is regarded as the highest standard in International forestry management.

SCA encourages biodiversity in its forests and one tree in every 10 is left in the forest to become part of the natural cycle and to eventually become food for insects and woodpeckers. High stumps in SCA’s forests also provide long-term habitats for insects and bird life, and diverse plants are encouraged so that various species of insects and beetles can flourish.

Tork accounts for around 50% of the hand towels supplied to National Health Service hospitals via NHS Supply Chain. Tork Advanced zigzag towels are the best-selling hand towel within the National Health Service.

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