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Sofidel Building A Sustainable Future

The supplier of bath tissue products discusses the importance of offering an assortment that is Earth-friendly
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Sofidel offers a range of private label products.

Sustainability remains a major talking point across the retail world, with private label suppliers taking steps to develop new products that capture this movement while meeting the needs of retailers and consumers. The topic has been an important one for Sofidel, which has made sustainability a priority for the company. Below, Sofidel discusses the steps it has taken to address the issue. 

Store Brands: Why is the issue of sustainability so important to Sofidel?

SOFIDEL: Sofidel’s growth strategy aligns with the United Nations 2030 Agenda which includes building an inclusive, resilient and sustainable future for people and the planet. Sofidel adopted 8 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Each of these goals focuses on creating a healthier and cleaner environment that betters the well-being of humans and the planet.

SB: What are some of the cutting-edge new items that have been brought to market by Sofidel in recent years?

SOFIDEL: We’re the first company in the U.S. to use paper packaging over plastic for a variety of our products. We aim to achieve a 50% reduction in the use of conventional plastic in production by 2030. We also introduced our award-winning Papernet HyTech Seas dispensers, made with recovered plastic materials from the ocean.

SB: What makes the products offered by Sofidel sustainable?

SOFIDEL: One hundred percent of the pulp we use is certified by independent third parties with sustainable forest certifications (FSC, FSC Controlled Wood and PEFC). Also, Sofidel promotes TenP Paper among its vendors, a sustainable supply chain self-assessment program. Established in 2016, this program recognizes the most sustain- able suppliers and supports those working to improve their sustainability performance. Sofidel equipment is state of the art too, which guarantees the lowest use of water in the industry.

SB: What has been a bigger challenge Sofidel has faced related to sustainability and the products offered by the company? How has the company solved this challenge?

SOFIDEL: Our biggest challenge has not been internal, but external. Sustainability is the heart of our mission and our products; however, distributors and consumers don’t always want to pay more for sustainable paper products. We’re increasingly investing in ESG ratings and communicating our commitment to environmental, social and corporate governance issues. We recently received the Platinum recognition from EcoVadis for our approach to sustainability which confirms our place among the top 1% of companies in our sector worldwide. In 2022, Morningstar Sustainalytics ranked Sofidel #1 for ESG Risk Management in the household products category.

SB: Have there been changes to the company’s sup- ply chain to make the transportation of products less impactful on the environment?

SOFIDEL: Yes! Sofidel is one of the few companies, if not the only company in the U.S. with a very efficient distribution process. We have six plants across the country (Ohio, Oklahoma, Nevada, Florida, Mississippi and Wisconsin). The plants are in proximity to market consump- tion. When deciding where to put the next factory, Sofidel always looks at where consumption is and stays close to it, reducing unnecessary additional “miles” to deliveries. Currently, the radius of reach of our plants is optimal, making Sofidel an ideal partner for distributors to reduce their national carbon footprint.

SB: What about engagement?

SOFIDEL: We are committed to promoting sustainability practices in the industry where we operate. For this reason, we are a part of the ISSA Sustainability Committee and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Sustainability Committee. We are also part of the ISSA Sustainability Leadership Council.