Essity, a leading company in health and hygiene products, aims to contribute to the well-being of two million people daily around the world by reducing its environmental footprint by 33% by 2030.
Sustainability is a transversal axis for Essity, which is based on three fundamental pillars: ensuring well-being, creating more value with fewer resources, and promoting circularity. This initiative reaffirms the company’s commitment to caring for the environment and reducing the impact of its products and activities globally in all the countries where it operates.
In addition, the intention to reduce its environmental footprint also extends to its production plant in Telde in the Canary Islands, which manufactures professional hygiene products and tissue paper derivatives with around 50 employees and a monthly production of about a thousand tons.
Cristobal Rodríguez, head of Essity Canarias explains: “Our mission is to take care of people and break barriers to well-being through our quality, hygiene and health products and services. We focus on creating positive value, economically, socially and environmentally, both globally and locally. We create jobs, we try to establish positive relationships with the community, we create innovative and safe products with sustainability as the center of all our decisions. Adding the concept of Canariety, which entails sustainability, recognition for products made in the Canary Islands, which creates employment, looking to the future and being able to tell the world with great pride that the product is made in the Canary Islands”.
THE SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY
From the supply of raw materials to the moment they are disposed of by consumers, Essity assesses the entire life cycle of its products, being able to detect the main points of improvement in terms of sustainability. “In the production phase, for example, a special effort is made to recycle all solid waste and, as of 2030, nothing will be deposited in landfills,” said Cristobal. Thanks to this evaluation, last year, Essity achieved a 65% waste recovery rate globally.
On the other hand, the company is also focusing its efforts so that by 2025 all containers are 100% recyclable and contain at least 85% renewable or recycled materials / plastic, paper and cardboard), for this, it is investing in technology of innovation with everything related to packaging and use of reused materials.
This effort was reflected last year, when the company reduced in Spain more than 9 tons of plastic film in the packaging of pallets of products destined for large distribution, and 7 tons when replacing the material of the extraction window with paper of facial tissues.
In addition, the company aspires to ensure that the fresh wood used for the creation of hygiene and health products is 100% certified fiber, thus adding to the company’s strategy on sustainable sourcing. At the Canarias plant, 94% of the finished product is FSCMixedCredit certified.
The Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index, one of the most prestigious sustainability indices in the world that measures the performance of companies with environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria and that serves as a reference for investors, welcomed Essity in 2021. Also, the company has been recognized as one of the 100 most sustainable companies in the world by Corporate Knights based on 24 key indicators ranging from resource management, and employees to financial management and performance with suppliers.
COMMITMENT TO THE CANARY ISLAND COMMUNITY
Essity is part of the global alliance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and is committed to working together with clients, suppliers and consumers for a better environment. Specifically, Essity has focused on SDG 3 – Health and well-being, SDG 5 – Gender equality, SDG 6 – Clean water and sanitation, SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production, SDG 13 – Climate action and SDG 15 – Life of terrestrial ecosystems.
It is necessary to guarantee people’s well-being and access to health and hygiene products and resources in order to achieve a real impact on society and the environment. As Cristóbal Rodríguez, head of Essity Canarias explains, “we have a double responsibility: the economic-business one, being transparent with the manufacture of our products and the standards of excellence for workers and suppliers and the responsible social identity with the community in which we operate. This is transferred to the way we interact with the community and contribute to breaking taboos, eliminating stigmas and improving the well-being of all”.
Through donations and other actions, Essity -in collaboration with different entities- helps families and people in vulnerable situations so that they can have access to basic health and hygiene products.