Six acquisitions were carried out during the year, which included the Australian hygiene company Asaleo Care and an increase of 45.8% in the shareholding to 95.8% in the Latin American hygiene company Familia. In Medical Solutions, Essity strengthened its presence in advanced wound care and orthopedics in the USA through the acquisitions of Hydrofera as well as AquaCast Liner and the sports tape brands Coach, Elastikon and Zonas. In addition, we finalized the acquisition of the remaining shares in ABIGO Medical AB in advanced wound care.
Price increases and cost savings
Essity raised its prices in all business areas as a result of higher raw material, energy and distribution costs. Further efficiency improvements were achieved through the Manufacturing Roadmap program. Continuous cost savings during the year amounted to SEK 698m.
More reusable products
Essity has expanded its range of reusable products in, for example, Incontinence Products and Feminine Care through the launch of washable absorbent underwear under TENA Silhouette and TENA for Men and under the Libresse, Nana and Bodyform brands. The Libresse® V-Cup menstrual cup was also launched and in Professional Hygiene the Tork microfiber cloths.
New sales growth target
Essity has a new sales growth target of more than 5%, which includes both organic sales growth and acquisitions. This replaces the previous target of organic sales growth of more than 3%.
Increased e-commerce sales and higher market shares
E-commerce sales increased organically by 15.9% to about 14% of net sales. Market shares increased for approximately 70% of branded sales in the retail trade. Market shares also grew in the healthcare sector and the Professional Hygiene business.
Several digital solutions were launched during the year. These included the TENA Family Care App, which facilitates care of family members in the home, and Cutimed Wound Navigator, a digital wound management solution. More customers are seeing the advantages of Tork Vision Cleaning, which enables cleaners to use real-time data to ensure good hygiene in professional environments.
Preparations for new division in Consumer Tissue
In the Consumer Tissue business area, Essity has begun work to create the new Consumer Tissue Private Label Europe division. Approximately 1,900 employees and seven production facilities in Belgium, France, Italy and Germany will be included in the new division.
Net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050
New and updated sustainability targets were adopted, including a commitment to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This includes raising the ambition level of the company’s current Science Based Targets. Other updated targets include sustainable innovations, occupational safety and responsible sourcing.
Production with less climate impact
Several new methods to achieve production free from emissions of fossil greenhouse gases were launched during the year. In Mainz-Kostheim, Germany, a pilot project was initiated with hydrogen from renewable sources, and in Lilla Edet, Sweden, natural gas is being replaced with biogas. In Kawerau, New Zealand, the drying process is using geothermal steam. Production based on pulp from wheat straw was launched in Mannheim, Germany. The pulp produced will have lower carbon emissions, use less water and energy as well as fewer chemicals.
Included in CDP’s A List
The global non-profit environmental organization CDP once again recognized Essity’s sustainability leadership. Essity was awarded a place on CDP’s A List for its work in combating deforestation, and was also recognized for its leadership in relation to climate change.
Leader in diversity work
In the UK business daily Financial Times’ annual ranking of diversity work in the business sector in 15 European countries, Essity was named “Diversity Leader” and was ranked 25th out of 15,000 companies. During the year, Essity presented new ambitions for diversity, equity and inclusion and a new Group target.
Cooperation on deforestation and biodiversity
Through the Consumer Goods Forum and its Forest Positive Coalition of Action, Essity is working together with other companies and organizations to address deforestation and promote biodiversity.
New business areas from January 1, 2022
Essity has decided on new business areas from January 1, 2022. The new business areas are Health & Medical, Consumer Goods and Professional Hygiene.