EPD Australasia

Profile: Oji Fibre Solutions

Early adopter says EPDs may change the narrative on pulp & paper industry

Oji Fibre Solutions (OjiFS) is one of Australasia’s leading manufacturers of pulp, paper, and wood-fibre-based packaging solutions.  OjiFS has operations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and both the North and South Islands of New Zealand.  As well as servicing Australia and New Zealand markets, the company sells market pulp into more than 20 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.

Producing both unbleached and bleached pulp, as well as grades of container board, OjiFS’s clients are wide-ranging: from manufacturers of tissues to sustainable packaging.

Committed to sustainable business management, the company prides itself on powering the circular bioeconomy, facilitating the move from fossil-based materials toward renewable and recyclable alternatives.

In January 2023, OjiFS became the first publisher of an Australasian EPD for pulp and only the second pulp EPD globally.  The three EPDs published cover market pulp products produced at their Tasman Mill in Kawerau, on the North Island of New Zealand.

We spoke to Mike Meiring, Vice President Pulp Sales and Marketing about the process of developing the EPDs, being a category leader and how the company expects to leverage its EPD investment moving forward.

What prompted the decision to invest in EPDs?

We had previously worked with a client who needed information for their own EPD.  We collected the data they were looking for at the time.  So, although we hadn’t done a registered EPD, we knew there was a growing need for this type of information.

Then a couple of years ago, we made a strategic move to convert the Tasman Mill to focus on unbleached specialty-grade products, such as our world-leading fibre cement pulp.   At the time, we were conscious these products were of interest to progressive customers who wanted to better understand their environmental position.  At the same time, our business was reviewing our sustainability targets and public reporting, so it made sense to develop some EPDs, starting with our products from the Tasman Mill. We now have three verified and published EPDs.

As a category leader, how did you find the process of developing and registering the EPDs?

Being early adopters in the pulp category did result in some delays.  This was because there were no Product Category Rules for pulp.  So those needed to be developed and we were a part of the review process. While additional work, it was an interesting process and gave us an opportunity to be a part of leading in the sector.

How does OjiFS benefit from the publication of EPDs?

The EPDs enable us to demonstrate our own environmental performance accurately and provide a benchmark to measure continuous improvement. The EPD covers the whole supply chain, not just manufacturing, it picks up the input raw material impact as well as the downstream freight and logistics to end-user markets. Using this view, we’ve done quite a bit of work to improve our environmental footprint, for example, through freight and logistics.  This will result in better business performance and ultimately a better environment.

The EPDs also enable us to provide our customers with the information they need.  We’ve seen already with the addition of the EPDs on your website, that there is a growing demand for this sort of verified data.  The EPDs enable us to support our customers with their own requirements to meet downstream environmental standards, reporting and compliance requirements.

Do you think the growth of LCA and EPDs will change the industry as a whole?

The pulp and paper industry has an important role in transitioning the global economy towards a low carbon and sustainable future. The sector is getting better at managing its impacts and identifying opportunities to replace fossil-based products with renewable products for example, and we are improving our communications with consumers and the public.   I think that the proliferation of rigorous EPDs will further demonstrate that the industry is a critical part of a future bio-circular economy with recycling and sustainability at our core.  The verified, credible environmental impact measures reported via EPDs will help change the narrative. That’s ultimately what we’d like to see happen.

Latest News

EPDA Welcomes Three New Independent Verifiers

EPD Australasia is pleased to announce the approval of three new independent verifiers for our programme. We congratulate Lindita Bushi, PhD, Viktor Hakkarainen,...

Rule Changes for EPDs for Construction Products

Changes to rules regarding multiple sets of results for construction products included in the same EPD Under our partnership agreement with the International...

Australian Government’s new Procurement Policy

EPD Australasia welcomes the release of the Australian Government’s Environmentally Sustainable Procurement Policy (ESPP) as a significant step in Australia’s progression towards a...

Subscribe to our newsletter

© Copyright 2023 EPD Australasia Ltd | 681 Web - Build • Host • Manage | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions