From the Wires
2012 Tork Report Finds Growing Concerns in Business and Consumer Attitudes toward Sustainability and Hygiene
Dec. 19, 2012 11:18 AM
In 2012, 84% of Canadian businesses cite a vendor's commitment to
sustainability as an important factor in deciding whether or not to
purchase products or services from them (this is up substantially from
64% of Canadian companies have a sustainability plan in place
Half of adults (47%) who eat at work do so at their desks - which carry
400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat1
OAKVILLE, ON, Dec. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - SCA, the makers of the Tork® brand of away-from-home paper products and one of the most sustainable
companies in the world, announces availability of the 3rd annual Tork Report, a comprehensive look at sustainability issues and
hygiene practices among North American businesses and consumers. The
2012 Tork Report, titled The Sustainability Gap, highlights areas where companies have made progress in improving
sustainability goals but also identifies trends that have taken a step
backward. The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive among
1,015 U.S. and 555 Canadian business professionals and 2,114 U.S.
adults age 18 and over.
In 2012, 64 per cent of Canadian companies said they had (or were
putting) a sustainability plan in place, nearly double the 38 per cent
of companies that reported this in 2011. Furthermore, 31 per cent of
U.S firms and 30 per cent of Canadian firms say their sustainability
plans are having a positive impact on the bottom line.
The 2012 Tork Report combines original research conducted by Harris
Interactive with commentary and additional research regarding
sustainability and hygiene from several sources, providing a
comprehensive look at one of society's most important concerns: How we
take care of our resources.
"We've seen sustainability continue to be important to consumers and
business alike," said Mike Kapalko, Sustainability Marketing Manager
for SCA AfH Professional Hygiene in North America. "A real area of
concern is the gap; companies reporting they have sustainability plans,
yet they ignore the risks to their business from climate change, severe
weather, or unhealthy employee habits."
Moving beyond Sustainability 1.0
While most companies have acknowledged sustainability as a necessary
part of doing business, "most have not thrown their full weight behind
the effort," writes sustainability expert and Tork Green Hygiene
Council member Josh Radoff. In his call to action for companies to push
further, he notes "we've approached the end of Corporate Sustainability
1.0, where the low-hanging fruit has been picked, and the basic levels
of expectations have been met. Thus, there is a large gap between the
status quo and the next level of achievement - the effort to dig down
to the core of a company's social and environmental impact."
In order for businesses and consumers to get to the next level of
achievement in sustainability, the 2012 Tork Report points to
initiatives that can help. These include:
Environment awareness: 55 per cent of Canadian businesses believe that
the role of the environment in their industry will increase greatly in
the next five years.
Adding a universal sustainability index - a guide to help consumers and
companies make smarter product choices - was deemed a good idea by
three-quarters of people surveyed.
Reduce the amount of "green washing," or false claims by companies that
tout a product's environmental benefits.
Taking Better Care of Ourselves
Sustainability plans should include the health of a company's workforce,
as reflected in the popular notion of the three P's: People, Planet and
Profit. Yet, as a whole, we don't do a good job of taking care of
ourselves, the 2012 Tork Report finds.
There is a substantial gap in understanding why it is important to wash
our hands. Most people wash their hands after using the restroom -
although 33 per cent of men don't2 - we don't wash our hands after using the most germ-infested items we
touch each day. Less than half of American's wash their hands after
using gym equipment, handling money or taking public transportation.
Why does this matter? Because countless items - such as microwave door
handles, elevator buttons and restaurant menus - are more germ-infested
A downloadable copy of the 2012 Tork Report is available here.
For further information or to request an interview about the 2012 Tork
Report, please contact Maggie Fairs at NATIONAL PR firstname.lastname@example.org or 416.848.1419
¹Source: Desk bacteria from ConAgra Foods and American Dietetic Assoc.
²Source: Natural Resources Defence Council
³Source: SCA Global Handwashing Poll, October, 2012
The Tork brand offers professional hygiene products and services to
customers ranging from restaurants and healthcare facilities to
offices, schools and industries. Products include dispensers, paper
towels, toilet tissue, soap, napkins, and industrial and kitchen
wipers. Through expertise in hygiene, functional design and
sustainability, Tork has become a market leader. Tork is a global brand
of SCA, and a committed partner to customers in over 80 countries. To
keep up with the latest Tork news and innovations, please visit: torkusa.com or tork.ca.
SCA is a global hygiene and forest products company that develops and
produces personal-care products, tissue, publication papers and
solid-wood products. Sales are conducted in some 100 countries. SCA has
many well-known brands, including the global brands TENA and Tork.
Sales in 2011 amounted to $16.5 billion (EUR 11.7 billion). SCA has
approximately 37,000 employees.
SCA in Canada operates nationally employing 280 people with head offices
in Oakville, Ontario and manufacturing facilities in Drummondville,
Quebec. For more information about SCA, please visit: www.sca.com
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms,
leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform
relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers
proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight,
corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising,
public relations and communications research. Harris possesses
expertise in a wide range of industries including health care,
technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial
services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package
goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings
that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's
research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and
territories through our North American and European offices, Harris
specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our
clients—stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
SCA delivers sustainable solutions with added value for our customers
from safe, resource efficient and environmentally sound sourcing,
production and development. Recent third party accreditations for the
SCA sustainability work include Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2011,
the WWF Environmental Paper Company Index 2011, and Ethisphere -
World's most ethical companies 2012.
The general adult survey was conducted online within the United States
from August 22nd - 24th, 2012 among 2,114 adults (18 and over) by Harris Interactive on
behalf of SCA. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region
and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into
line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score
weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
The business professional survey was also conducted online in the United
States and Canada between August 23rd-September 5th, 2012 by Harris
Interactive on behalf of SCA North America from interviewing a random
sample of 1,015 U.S. professionals and 555 Canadian professionals
(managers and above), both male (60% - U.S.; 53% - Canada) and female
(40% - U.S.; 47% - Canada) representing several industries and
professions. Additional methodology details can be found in the 2012