4 October 2012 — Woolworths has become the first major Australian retailer to achieve membership of the Forest Stewardship Council.

On “FSC Friday”, held last week, people were invited to consider the wood and paper products they buy and look for the FSC logo.

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, the company has announced its first own brand products to achieve FSC certification – Home brand toilet paper and facial tissues.

Woolworths corporate responsibility, community and sustainability head 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,” she said.

“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 (and) with these products becoming FSC certified our customers can play their part in protecting native forests.”

FSC Australia chief executive officer Natalie Reynolds said Woolworths was showing “the kind of action our world needs for a sustainable future”.

In 2009, the supermarket became Australia’s first to commit to moving its own brand products to 100 per cent sustainable palm oil and in 2011 launched its sustainable fish sourcing strategy.