Essity highlights the importance of biodiversity in its value chain
The company has the scale and reach to act to mitigate the climate crisis and its global effects, in addition to contributing to collective transformation
As one of the world’s leading hygiene and health companies, Essity has the scale and reach to take action to mitigate the climate crisis and its global effects, as well as contribute to collective transformation.
In this sense, the company has biodiversity as a crucial factor, considering that its operations impact biodiversity in all parts of the value chain – particularly in activities related to the supply of raw materials, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and effluent water, as well as the production of waste, in particular plastic waste.
Within this context, Essity has ongoing initiatives and measures in all areas related to the environment. As part of a major analysis of its impact on biodiversity, the company has integrated this topic into its overall risk management in 2021.
“We help our customers and consumers to make simple environmental choices, by communicating our environmental improvements in our own communication or through eco-labelling,” declared the company, in its 2022 Sustainability Report.
According to the document, the company has been working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air, land and water pollution, as well as water use, plastic, and waste. A central part of this is responsible forestry and fiber sourcing, reduced material use, sustainable consumption and circular solutions. These initiatives make a positive contribution to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which focus on responsible consumption and production (12), climate action (13) and life on land (15).
The company guarantees the responsible acquisition of fibers through certifications such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) in order to prevent deforestation and promote biodiversity. Every forest certified by the FSC must be assessed annually by the accredited body.
With this, Essity works and encourages non-certified suppliers and forest owners to become certified. This ensures the acquisition of certified materials while increases the availability of certified raw materials to other users. To further promote responsible forest management at the global, regional and national levels, the company supports the development of international certification systems.
In addition, to reduce fresh wood fiber purchases, the company invests in new technologies to increase the possibility of using a larger share of recycled and alternative materials.
A step in this direction was Essity’s investment in the production facility in Hondouville, France, in 2021. The investment made it possible to increase the recycling capacity for cartons and extract 98% of paper fiber in food and beverage cartons.
The company is also investing in alternative renewable fibers such as wheat straw, an agricultural by-product that often remains unused. Essity’s production facility in Mannheim, Germany started producing tissue from wheat straw fiber in 2021, with the first products launched on the market in 2022 under the Zewa brand. This is the first production facility of its kind in Europe and the first plant in the world to use wheat pulp on a large scale for tissue production. The breakthrough innovation leads to increased circularity and reduced climate footprint.
In 2022, Essity was again recognized for the company’s leadership in sustainability by the non-profit environmental organization CDP. Through the CDP’s database, everyone can access information about how Essity works with fiber suppliers, industry organizations and other stakeholders, including non-profit organizations, to manage and promote sustainable forest management.
Annually, the company produces reports in accordance with the goals agreed upon by the Forest Positive Coalition of Action, which is part of the CGF (The Consumer Goods Forum’s) – joint targets are an essential part of its commitment to other members of the coalition. Essity reports and follows up on these targets to drive a Forest Positive change within its own supply chains, the industry, and beyond.
Read more about Essity’s strategic priorities, earnings and leading sustainability work in the Annual and Sustainability Report 2022, which can be downloaded at www.essity.com.
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