Officeworks commits to restoring Australia's landscape

Officeworks GA

At the launch of Officeworks' 'Restoring Australia' initiative in northern Tasmania last week, from left: Landowner Julian Von Bibra, Alexandra Staley (Officeworks global sourcing and CSR business manager), Mark Ward (Officeworks managing director), Pauline Rawling (acting CEO Greening Australia) and Gordon Davies (president Greening Australia).


Officeworks has signed a multi-million-dollar deal with not-for-profit environment group Greening Australia to rehabilitate some of Australia’s most degraded agricultural land.


While reluctant to put a dollar figure on its donation, it's understood Officeworks has committed to a $1.2 million-a-year three-year agreement which will see the company fund the planting of two trees for each one used to make the paper and timber products it sells.


Speaking at the official launch of the program in Tasmania last week, Officeworks managing director Mark Ward told Stationery News that the company will phase in the 'Restoring Australia' branding for its paper-based products across its 165-store network from next month.


“Given about 8000 products in our office supplies range are paper and wood-based, we saw a huge opportunity to empower our customers to shop more sustainably and improve the quality of Australia’s landscapes,” Ward said.


In the second half of 2017, more than 100,000 seeds and seedlings will be planted across the Tasmanian Midlands, New South Wales Southern Highlands and the Victorian Volcanic Plains, where more than 85 per cent of the natural habitat has been lost.


Greening Australia acting CEO Pauline Rawling said, “We are delighted to be a part of Restoring Australia. Our vision is to create healthy and productive landscapes where people and nature thrive – this sits at the heart of this initiative with Officeworks.


“ It’s refreshing to see an iconic Australian business such as Officeworks take a real leadership role in the environmental space and have a measurable impact on Australia’s native flora and fauna,” she said.


Officeworks says it has taken a leadership position to promote and support the sourcing of 100 per cent recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood fibre products. At June 30 2017, 70 per cent of all Officeworks’ paper and wood-based products were derived from 100 per cent recycled content or having FSC certification


Officeworks has not supplied single-use plastic bags since 2008. While 90 per cent of customers currently choose to go bag-free, Officeworks offers the option to purchase a 5 or 10 cent bag, with all proceeds donated to Planet Ark.


Officeworks customers can also recycle their old technology through programs available in-store such as Bring IT Back, Cartridges 4 Planet Ark and Mobile Muster.