Our sustainability goal

Our sustainability goal is to help support a more sustainable society and circular economy through our products and business operations. We understand our entire product life cycle from cradle to grave and believe we are making a difference. 

Read below to find out about our unique manufacturing process and industry first policies that result in Handee having one of the lowest carbon footprints for any NZ tissue paper manufacturer.  

Made with local geothermal steam

Handee is the only paper towel brand in the world to use renewable energy in the form of geothermal steam in the paper making process. 

Thermal energy or heat, usually in the form of steam, is required to make paper and using a geothermal source means we don’t need to make our own using natural gas. 

Geothermal steam is a renewable energy source and using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels means we have a smaller carbon footprint. It limits the release of greenhouse gases that can lead to climate change. In fact we reduced carbon emissions by 46% since switching to geothermal energy in 2010. 

Our commitment to responsible forestry

Handee paper towels are certified by the world’s most trusted sustainable forest management solution the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®). 

FSC is a third party certification that is internationally recognised as the global ‘gold standard’ in forest certification. 

When buying FSC certified products you are helping assist in protecting forests and respecting the rights of local communities around the world.

This means that when you buy Handee you can be confident you are supporting sustainable forestry that promotes ethical sourcing of timber and helps protect forests for future generations. 

Tropical Peatland Free

Handee is the first paper towel brand in NZ to fight climate change with a “Tropical Peatland Free” promise! This means that Handee hasn’t been made using wood from drained tropical peatlands which can contribute to global warming by causing devastating forest fires.

Environmental Choice New Zealand (ECNZ)

Environmental Choice is New Zealand’s Ecolabelling Programme and provides a credible and independent guide for people who want to purchase and use products that are proven better for the environment. Handee has proudly carried the ECNZ certificate on packs since 2005.

More Sustainable Packaging

The Handee paper towel range of products has been transitioning to 20% recycled plastic packaging since October 2021. This packaging includes waste plastic that has been recycled, which reduces landfill and supports the circular economy. Handee recycled plastic packaging creates 20% less waste than paper packaging equivalent and has a lower carbon footprint than virgin plastics. Handee packaging can be recycled again in NZ through the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme. To find your nearest drop off point visit Store Locator | Soft Plastics Recycling.

Sustainable Packaging Policy

We continuously review our practices to ensure we are adopting the most sustainable packaging solutions. We are reliant on packaging to enable us to deliver high quality products to our customers and therefore we are committed to work towards 100% recyclability of our packaging by 2025. Handee paper towel is taking key steps to reduce the environmental impact of our packaging.

Watch our video to find out how.

Read below to understand the environmental impact of Handee throughout its entire lifecycle from cradle to grave.

Handee Paper Towel Lifecycle

  • 1. Timber

    We begin with one of the worlds most renewable resources: wood. Handee only uses 100% responsible, non-controversial forestry where pulp logs are grown in plantations. Our pulp logs are sourced from socially and environmentally sustainable forests to help protect present and future generations of forests. Our FSC® certification means Handee uses well managed forests and controlled sources for pulp. We also have a Tropical Peatland Free policy which means that Handee hasn't been made using wood from drained peatlands which generate lots of greenhouse gas and increase the risk of forest fires.

  • 2. Pulp

    A mixture of local and imported pulp, made from softwood (NZ pine) and hardwood (Eucalyptus) trees, is used in making Handee tissue. The pulp mixture is then spread across a long continuous fabric to make a web (or sheet) of tissue. This then passes through a number of stages to extract water and dry the tissue.

  • 3. Steam

    Local clean, green steam is collected from a geothermal bore and travels along pipes to the factory. This eliminates the need to make our own steam using gas-fired boilers. The geothermal bore is owned and operated by the local Maori Iwi.

  • 4. Paper

    The large tissue paper rolls, called ‘mother reels’, are made locally in Kawerau, Bay of Plenty. Handee mother reels can weigh up to three tonnes each, similar to the weight of three cars. At Kawerau the energy we use to make Handee is renewable, such as hydroelectricity and local, naturally occurring geothermal steam. The percentage of renewable energy over the entire life cycle of Handee ranges from 72% to 74.4%. 

  • 5. Finished Product

    Tissue paper from the mother reels are layered together, embossed with the distinct Handee design and wound onto recycled cardboard cores to create Handee paper towel “logs”. The “logs” are then cut to length and packaged for consumer use.

  • 6. Use and Disposal

    Handee finished product is transported to retailers around NZ for consumers to purchase. 

    With so many uses for Handee paper towels, the world’s your oyster! Use them to wipe up messy spills, clean your BBQ or chill your wine extra fast. Now that’s Handee!

    When disposing of used Handee paper towels, please do not flush. Depending on what you've used your paper towel for, Handee paper towels can be recycled or pop them into your home compost bin. Please recycle the cardboard cores in your kerbside recycling bin and return the soft plastic packaging to the collection bins in selected stores. Store Locator | Soft Plastics Recycling .

Lifecycle Analysis

We are proud to lead our industry and be the first tissue paper manufacturer in its region to use Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). This study is independently verified and investigates the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire lifecycle and we discovered some amazing facts. From cradle to grave most of the energy required to harvest, make and transport a Handee roll comes from renewable resources. In the case of Handee Double Length, an impressive 75% of the energy used from “cradle to grave” is renewable!

Download Lifecycle PDF