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Essity’s Executive Management Team bears the overall responsibility for the control of Essity’s business in the field of sustainability.
Essity has a Group function in charge of sustainability, led by the Senior Vice President Sustainability, who reports to the CEO and is a member of the Executive Management Team. Apart from social and environmental affairs, the function is also responsible for the Group’s Public Affairs and its Compliance & Ethics function. In close collaboration with the Business Unit Presidents, the approved strategy and objectives are broken down into specific targets and activities to ensure delivery of the Group’s objectives and business plans. Responsibility for implementation rests with the operational organization.
The Compliance Council is responsible for ensuring an effective compliance framework and program and securing a systematic approach to implementation of this. This Council oversees the introduction of, and compliance with, Essity’s Code of Conduct and other Group policies, including the UN framework for human rights. The Council comprises Essity’s Senior Vice President HR, Senior Vice President Group Sustainability (Chairman) and General Counsel. The Head of Compliance & Ethics function reports to the Council but is not a member. Essity’s CEO, the head of the internal audit function and the Business Unit presidents participate in meetings as per invitation.
A number of committees and networks operate horizontally across the Group’s different business units to guarantee a consistent approach.
The Environmental Committee draft proposals for policies and principles for governing the sustainability work as well as objectives and action programs at Group level. The committee coordinates and follows up the Group’s initiatives and objectives in the environmental area. The committee includes members of all business units and representatives from all regions where the company has significant operations.
The Public Affairs Committee leads and coordinates the work in prioritized areas related to strategy, positioning and external advocacy activities.
Water management network: Proposes the Group’s targets for reductions in emissions and water usage. The network also analyzes the impact of the EU’s Water Framework Directive on Essity’s operations.
Fiber network: Disseminates information on responsible forest management throughout the organization, and coordinates the Group’s position and activities in relation to the FSC.
Resource Management Systems (RMS) network: Compiles information and makes calculations and presentations relating to resource use and environmental data.
Chemicals management network: Leads and supports development for harmonized chemical procedures and proposes group policies, priorities and objectives.
Energy network: Identifies cost-efficient solutions and synergies in connection with energy sourcing. The network also handles emissions trading.
Health and safety network: Establishes global goals and guidelines for health and safety, including definitions and procedures for accident reporting.
Supplier Code of Conduct network: Identifies ethical and social supply chain risks.
In addition to being reviewed by the company’s external auditors, its operations are subject to external reviews and monitoring by, among others, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and Nasdaq Stockholm. Life cycle assessments are another example of third-party assessments. Essity’s own control systems include segregation of duties in critical processes and defined management responsibilities with regard to internal control. There is also a separate internal audit function at Essity that works to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of Essity’s governance processes, risk management and internal control. Essity’s internal audit organization contributes to the maintenance of high standards of business practice and is involved in the monitoring of Code of Conduct compliance through, for example, audits. To support its work, the internal audit unit has a number of steering documents and policies.
Essity is exposed to various risks with a greater or lesser potential impact on the Group. The responsibility for long-term and overall management of material risks follows the company’s delegation scheme, from the Board to the President, and from the President to the business unit presidents. A description of the most significant risks that impact Essity’s ability to achieve its established targets and its risk management is presented in the Annual and Sustainability Report.
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