Moving Forward Hygiene Matters
There is an undeniable connection between hygiene and better health and well-being. As one of the world’s largest companies offering hygiene solutions, Essity has the knowledge, experience and dedication to help raise hygiene standards in the world, and we are fully committed to making it happen. Through our training programs, reaching 2,000,000 people annually, we raise knowledge, improve care, and break the silence and taboos that surround hygiene-related areas, such as menstruation and incontinence. These taboos affect the dignity and quality of life of millions of people by preventing girls from going to school during their period or isolating incontinence sufferers in their homes over the fear of not finding a toilet.
In 2015, the world’s leaders adopted a common set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Universal access to clean water and sanitation is goal 6 of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be reached by 2030, including a specific target to secure access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all. This confirms what we have known for a long time: That good hygiene helps save lives and sustain prosperity.
Our company has gathered insights and ignited the conversation around the role and importance of hygiene in a global perspective through our Hygiene Matters initiative since 2008. To really make a difference, we need to constantly push forward and ask: How can we make progress in hygiene matters? In this year’s Hygiene Matters report, we aim to raise awareness for action by key stakeholders by highlighting the value of investing in hygiene and showcasing innovations and transformative solutions. Partnership is another one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and we are proud to have produced this report with the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). WSSCC is the only part of the United Nations devoted solely to the sanitation and hygiene needs of marginalized individuals and groups and is at the heart of the global movement to improve sanitation and hygiene.
Since 2014, we have partnered with WSSCC to create a common platform for raising awareness about the importance of hygiene and sanitation and challenging taboos surrounding personal hygiene. Through common advocacy and education initiatives, we can be a stronger voice for the connection between hygiene, health and well-being.
As you will discover in this report, hygiene plays a crucial role within social and economic development the world over. I am convinced that to unlock the value of hygiene, and to break down the barriers standing in the way of progress, partnership is essential. By sharing knowledge and expertise and playing to our respective strengths, we tackle obstacles in the form of taboos and stereotypes, and develop innovative solutions that accelerate hygiene matters and bring health and well-being to people’s lives.
President and CEO, Essity