H8. Fiber sourcing
Essity’s target is that all wood-based fresh fiber in the company’s products and packaging is to be FSC® or PEFC™ certified. All wood-based fresh fiber must fulfill the FSC Controlled Wood standard, as a minimum, to be eligible for purchasing. Target fulfillment for certified wood-based fresh fiber in 2019 was 79% (76; 63). 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
Essity is a global purchaser of both fresh fiber and recovered fiber. Renewable raw materials (wood-based fresh fiber and recycled fiber) account for the largest share of the total volume of material in Essity’s products.
In 2019, Essity purchased 3.3 million tons of wood-based fresh fiber and 2.3 million tons of recycled fiber. Wood-based fresh fiber mainly comprises pulp, 98%, and the remainder comprises packaging, externally sourced mother reels and products manufactured by third parties. Of the 2.3 million tons of recycled fiber sourced, 92% is used in tissue manufacturing. The remainder consists of recycled fiber, which is found in sourced packaging material and sourced mother reels.
The proportion of recycled 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 98% (97; 94) recycled fiber, while the proportion of recycled fiber in Latin America is 68% (77; 68) and in Europe 40% (38; 33).
Results of audit of pulp suppliers
The eight largest pulp suppliers to Essity’s wholly owned companies represent 80% the volume sourced. Essity audits all of its pulp suppliers to verify compliance with the company’s sourcing policy for wood-based fresh fiber. In addition to this policy, 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 2019 showed that they comply with the abovementioned policy and Supplier Standard.
During 2019, Essity’s personnel visited 5 (10; 5) supplier facilities to assess compliance with the company’s policy. 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.