As a global company, Essity can make a difference for people and societies. We offer hygiene and health solutions for hundreds of millions of people every day, which helps to improve well-being and gender equality. We share our expertise and drive global dialogue to increase awareness about the importance of hygiene and health and to break the taboo surrounding these.

A daughter visits her mother at a retirement home in Italy in 2020. Face masks produced by Essity. (photo)

A daughter visits her mother at a retirement home in Italy in 2020. The face masks are produced by Essity.

Increasing access to hygiene and health solutions

Millions of people around the world lack fundamental solutions that could improve their quality of life. There are many reasons for this, for example, they do not have access to them or cannot afford them, the infrastructure is not in place or due to social stigma. It is essential to meet these needs. Essity wants to enhance the quality of life for more people and raise the hygiene and health standards around the world by increasing access to sustainable solutions and striving to break barriers surrounding hygiene and health that exist in our society.

To achieve this, we spend a large amount of time with our customers, consumers, users and other societal actors. This allows us to develop solutions based on a unique insight into the needs, challenges and expectations of our customers and consumers as well as whole societies. In this way, we enable and create value together for all of society Essity’s Group target is that at least 33% of the company’s innovations are to yield social and/or environmental improvements. Examples of innovations in 2020 include packaging with recycled or renewable plastic, face masks and washable absorbent underwear.

Providing safe products

Product safety and product quality are of the utmost importance. For us, it is also important that our customers and consumers can easily find out what our products contain. We provide clear, reliable and accessible product information.

Essity complies with prevailing laws and regulations for the company’s products. If specific sector requirements are lacking, we always comply with general legal frameworks on product safety. Essity monitors current research and continuously strives to make improvements in line with this research. This includes driving safety standards through voluntary undertakings that exceed statutory requirements. For example, Essity was involved in drawing up an industry standard in the EDANA association to harmonize assessment methods and enhance transparency of traces of chemicals in absorbent hygiene products.

We follow strict requirements and extensive procedures under our certified quality system (ISO 9001) to ensure that all materials and ingredients in the company’s production and products are safe for consumers, customers, employees and the environment. Essity works closely with our suppliers to ensure they meet the company’s Global Supplier Standard and guidelines.

One important element of Essity’s work to improve our solutions is feedback from our customers and consumers in the form of complaints and feedback. We always investigate whether there is cause for action beyond responding to the individual case. The company undertakes targeted corrective and preventive action.

Taking an active role in society

We leverage our global reach to break barriers to well-being and share our expertise in hygiene and health in such areas as hand hygiene, menstruation and incontinence. As a means of contributing to global dialogue and driving forward social solutions, we regularly publish “The Hygiene and Health Report.” This report is a collaboration with the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), and was presented at the United Nations Foundation 2020 Global Dialogue.

To further contribute with our knowledge and expertise, we participate in various national and international industry organizations and other partnerships and dialogues. In addition to contributing relevant expertise, the aim is to, at an early stage, gain knowledge and actively promote development of areas that have an impact on the company, such as environmental and climate issues, trends in health, hygiene, and other social issues. Essity’s Public Affairs department is responsible for ensuring governance, strategy and implementation of this work.

We strive to be a dedicated partner in various local communities. In accordance with Essity’s Community Relations Instruction, the company primarily prioritizes initiatives with a clear link to the company’s operations, where our expertise can make an effective contribution. One example of an initiative is arranging education courses in hygiene and health for various societal partners. The guidelines state that Essity shall be politically and religiously neutral.

Sustainable innovations

Sustainable innovations (bar chart)