H6. Fiber sourcing
In 2018, Essity updated its global fresh fiber sourcing policy and thereby reinforced its commitment to sustainable forestry operations, forest certification and traceability for fiber content. The new policy is available at www.essity.com.
Essity is a global purchaser of both fresh fiber and recovered fiber and has communicated its clear commitment that all fresh wood based fiber raw material will originate from responsibly managed forests. Essity’s target for fresh wood based fiber sourcing is to continuously increase the share of certified fiber in its products and packaging, with a preference for FSC® certification, until all of the fiber is certified. All fiber that is not yet certified must fulfill the FSC Controlled Wood standard to be eligible for purchasing. Goal fulfillment for certified fiber in 2018 was 76%. The remainder fulfilled FSC’s Controlled Wood standard.
Most of Essity’s wholly owned manufacturing units are now certified in line with FSC and/or PEFC Chain of Custody standards.
Essity’s fiber use
Renewable raw materials (fresh fiber and recycled fiber) account for the largest share of the total volume of material in tissue products and are an important material in Personal Care products. Synthetic materials are used in Personal Care products to meet the user’s function and quality requirements.
In 2018, Essity sourced 2.9 million tons of fresh fiber and 2.1 million tons of recovered fiber. Fresh fiber mainly comprises pulp, 97.4%, and the remainder comprises packaging, externally sourced mother reels and products manufactured by third parties. Of the 2.1 million tons of recovered fiber sourced, 91% is used in tissue manufacturing. The remainder consists of recovered fiber, which is found in sourced packaging material and sourced mother reels.
The proportion of recovered fiber in Essity’s products varies between regions due to differences in quality, user preferences and fiber supply and demand. The North American operations use 97% recovered fiber, while the proportion of recovered fiber in Latin America is 77% and in Europe 38%.
Results of audit of pulp suppliers
The eleven largest of Essity’s pulp suppliers to wholly owned companies represent 80% the volume sourced. Essity audits all of its pulp suppliers to verify compliance with Essity’s sourcing policy for fiber. In addition to this, all suppliers must sign Essity’s Global Supplier Standard. Pulp suppliers are also assessed through the use of detailed questionnaires to verify that they fulfill the requirements of chain of custody certification and ecolabeling. All pulp suppliers in 2018 showed that they comply with the standards and requirements made on them by Essity.
During 2018, Essity’s personnel visited ten supplier facilities to assess compliance with the company’s requirements. In addition to these pulp supplier audits, Essity has provided support to several other suppliers where wood fiber may be part of the raw material. The purpose of this was to help them achieve FSC chain of custody certification.