Sustainability governance

Sustainability is incorporated throughout Essity’s operations, which is why sustainability governance forms an integrated part of the Group’s overall corporate governance.

Purpose, implementation and follow-up

Sustainability-related issues are a standing item at the company’s Board of Directors meetings and at meetings of the Executive Management Team. In addition to this, sustainability topics are regularly addressed by different business units, global units and the company’s Group functions. Specific issues are also managed by a number of committees and steering groups with representatives from all of the company’s business units, which provides cross-functional and supplemental expertise to ensure a consistent approach.

The purpose of Essity’s sustainability governance is to ensure the company’s commitments to its stakeholders, including customers, consumers, employees, shareholders, suppliers, investors, decision makers and representatives from society. The company’s commitments are expressed in targets, strategy and priorities. The Board of Directors has established a number of sustainability targets that are regularly monitored and reported annually. We maintain an active and continuous dialogue with our stakeholders to ensure that Essity’s priorities and methods are relevant over time. Based on well-defined areas of responsibility and follow-up, the company ensures that it delivers on established sustainability targets. To tackle increasing sustainability challenges, we continuously develop our ambitions in dialogue with our stakeholders and external experts.

Since sustainability is an integrated part of Essity’s strategy and operations, the internal audit naturally also encompasses sustainability. Essity’s Annual and Sustainability Report is also included in our external auditor’s review. Read more in the chapter Notes to Group’s sustainability information.

External regulations and internal steering documents

Essity’s prioritized sustainability topics, strategies and targets are a result of the company’s internal work and dialogue with its stakeholders and external experts. These are also aligned with a range of different principles and guiding frameworks. In addition to external frameworks and principles, Essity has several external certifications and ISO standards as well as internal policies and guidelines that ensure the company has well-defined management systems in place to monitor the company’s results.

Essity has developed positions in the form of position papers in which we state our views on key topics. These are available at

Guiding external frameworks and principles

  • UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • UN Global Compact
  • OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
  • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • ILO Core Conventions

Policies and guidelines

  • Code of Conduct
  • Sustainability Policy
  • Anti-bribery and Corruption Policy
  • Fiber Sourcing Policy
  • Diversity Policy
  • Global Supplier Standard
  • Health and Safety Instruction
  • Community Relations Instruction
Couple talking (photo)

EU taxonomy

As part of the EU’s green growth strategy, the EU taxonomy came into effect in 2020. This is a classification tool for environmentally sustainable investments. Essity has analyzed its operations in order to comply with current and future disclosure requirements. The company’s sales, capital expenditure and operating expenditure are to be reported in accordance with Nomenclature of Economic Activities (NACE) codes. The EU is yet to determine which economic activities are to be deemed environmentally sustainable under each NACE code. The same applies to additional subordinate economic activities identified in the analysis of Essity’s sales, capital expenditure and operating expenditure. Most of Essity’s economic operations can be allocated to the pulp and paper industry. Essity’s sales, capital expenditure and operating expenditure are therefore not covered by the taxonomy directive for this reporting period.

Sustainability indexes and rankings

Essity voluntarily takes part in a number of rankings of the company’s sustainability work, as we believe this strengthens efforts moving forward. A summary is presented below of our scores in some of the most important rankings and ratings.

2020 Ecovadis CSR Rating (logos)

Essity was awarded a “Platinum Medal” in the “2020 Ecovadis CSR Rating”.

CDP (logos)

In 2021, Essity was awarded a place on CDP’s A List for its work in combating deforestation and was mentioned as leading for its management of climate change, with an A–.

FTSE4Good (logos)

Essity has been listed on the FTSE4Good global sustainability index since 2001.

S&P Global’s Sustainability Yearbook (logos)

In 2022, Essity was included in S&P Global’s Sustainability Yearbook for its sustainability work in 2021, and was awarded a silver medal in the Household Products category.