River de Swalm

In the nineteen sixties, we were the first tissue paper manufacturing company in Europe to start using recycled paper as a raw material - at that time to reduce costs. Currently, our conviction is that a product like toilet paper, which is thrown away after use, should always be made from recycled paper. So today, all the paper that departs from our factory gates is made from paper that households and businesses have thrown away.

We had a combined heat and power plant built at our factory site approximately fifteen years ago in order to generate our own electricity. The heat produced during energy generation can be re-used in the production process, which benefits both our energy efficiency and the environment. As a result, we have been one of the world's leading producers in terms of efficient energy usage for many years.

WEPA Nederland's main office and two production locations are situated in Swalmen. The factory lies between a residential area and farming land. WEPA Nederland acts considerately towards its neighbours by implementing a CSR policy that targets zero noise and odour nuisance. Furthermore, WEPA Nederland and the river De Swalm have been neighbours for more than 80 years; in fact the river is essential to our ability to produce hygienic paper. Without water recycling, we would need to draw 15 litres of water from the river De Swalm in order to produce just one roll of toilet paper. Intelligent closed-loop use of our process water has reduced consumption to just one half litre per roll. Obviously, WEPA Nederland also wants to do something in return for nature for the use of this natural resource. We have created a green corridor between the river and the factory where butterflies, insects and birds feel completely at home.

In 2007, the Chamber of Commerce offered us a unique opportunity. We could have a Cradle to Cradle scan performed as a test company as part of the run-up programme to the Floriade 2012 World Horticultural Expo, which adopted this theme as its main focus  - a chance we grasped with both hands. After all, Cradle to Cradle is a perfect match for our mission: developing innovative solutions for better toilet hygiene in combination with exceptional environmental performance. The results of the scan were so interesting that we decided to initiate a project in order to attain certification for our Satino Black products. After several challenging years of development, we have successfully achieved Cradle to Cradle Silver certification for Satino Black hand towels and toilet paper. The production of Satino Black is fully carbon-neutral, based on 100% recycled paper. It is the only hygienic paper in the world to carry the FSC recycled, European Ecolabel and Cradle to Cradle labels.