H8. Fiber sourcing
Essity’s goal for fiber sourcing is that all fresh fiber in our products is to be FSC® or PEFC™ certified. At a minimum, the fiber must meet the requirements of the FSC standards for Controlled Wood. Goal fulfillment in 2017 was that 99.9% of all fresh fiber met the goal criteria.
Renewable raw materials (fresh fiber and recycled fiber) account for the largest share of the material used in an average Essity product. Synthetic materials are used in highly absorbent hygiene products to improve quality and function.
Essity’s fiber use
In 2017, 5.9 million tons of fresh fiber and recovered fiber were delivered to Essity. Fresh fiber, 3.65 million tons, consists mainly of pulp (87%) and timber (12%). Packaging, mother reels and products from third parties account together for 1%.
Of the 2.12 million tons of recovered paper, 94% is used in tissue production. The remaining 6% comprises recovered fiber content in sourced packaging.
In 2017, 3.65 million tons of fresh fiber were delivered as timber, pulp, packaging, mother reels and products from a third party. 65% of the fiber was FSC/PEFC certified and nearly 35% fulfilled the FSC standards for Controlled Wood.
Pulp: 63% of the global pulp deliveries was FSC or PEFC certified and 36% fulfilled the FSC standards for Controlled Wood. The remaining 1% was from controlled suppliers and other certification systems.
Wood: 87% was FSC or PEFC certified and the remaining share fulfilled the FSC standards for Controlled Wood.
Packaging: 32% was FSC or PEFC certified and the remaining share came from controlled sources.
Mother reels: 16% was FSC/PEFC certified and the remaining share fulfilled the FSC standards for Controlled Wood.
Third-party supplied articles: More than one-third of Essity-branded wet wipes (60% third-party-supplied articles) were FSC certified. The fresh fiber in the remaining two-thirds came from FSC Controlled Wood sources or other controlled sources. 80% of the fiber in other outsourced products (40% of third-party-supplied articles) are from certified suppliers and 20% from a controlled and identifiable source.
The proportion of recovered fiber in our products varies between regions due to differences in consumer preferences and fiber supply and demand. The North American operations use almost only recovered fiber, while the proportion of recovered fiber is 68% in Latin America and 33% in Europe.
Supplier audit results
Among Essity’s global pulp suppliers to wholly owned Essity companies, the ten largest accounted for more than 80% of the purchase cost for pulp. Essity audits its suppliers to verify their compliance with the Essity’s sourcing policy for fiber and Essity’s Global Supplier Standard. All pulp suppliers were assessed using a questionnaire about their continued compliance with the requirement for chain of custody certification and to update fiber and ecolabel information. All pulp suppliers demonstrated continued compliance with the requirements of Essity’s Global Supplier Standard. During 2017, Essity’s personnel visited five supplier plants to conduct compliance checks. In addition to these pulp supplier audits, Essity has provided support to some raw material suppliers where fiber may be part of the raw material (i.e. viscose in non-wovens) to help them achieve FSC chain of custody certification.