Essity's business model is focused on profitable growth and responsible value creation.
Essity utilizes resources in the form of financial capital, where equity amounted to approximately SEK 63bn and net debt approximately SEK 43bn in 2020. Human capital with approximately 46,000 employees and their expertise, skills and experience. Intellectual capital such as research and development, patents, licenses, innovation, systems and goodwill. Manufactured capital in the form of raw materials, facilities and infrastructure necessary for production. Relationship capital that includes Essity’s relationship with internal and external stakeholders with whom we share values, credibility and loyalty. Natural capital used by Essity in its operations, such as forest and water.
The starting point for Essity’s operations is customer and consumer insights. Through knowledge about people’s daily needs and challenges, we create an offering that improves quality of life for people every day.
Essity has a global unit that works with brands, innovation and sustainability. There are also innovation centers in China, France, Germany, Mexico, Sweden, and the US. Research and development (R&D) costs during the year amounted to SEK 1,559m, corresponding to about 1.3% of consolidated net sales.
In 2020, Essity purchased raw materials and consumables for approximately SEK 41bn. The main raw materials are pulp, recovered fiber and oil-based materials. Essity has around 90 production facilities worldwide. Cost of goods sold amounted to SEK 82bn, of which transport and distribution costs were SEK 11bn.
Essity’s marketing costs in 2020 amounted to SEK 6,745m, corresponding to 5.5% of net sales. An increasing share of marketing is conducted through digital channels. We have sales in approximately 150 countries. In 2020, the retail trade accounted for 61% of Essity’s net sales, business-to-business for 21% and the healthcare sector for 18%.
Essity is the global market leader in incontinence products with the TENA brand and in professional hygiene with the Tork brand. Essity also has strong brands in other product categories. Essity holds the number one or number two position within at least one product category in approximately 90 countries and has a well-developed and efficient “go-to-market” model.
Essity generates value to shareholders through returns and dividends. We work to maximize shareholder value while prioritizing environmental and social issues by taking financial, environmental and social parameters into consideration in our business decisions. Customer and consumer value is created through our solutions by increasing well-being and quality of life. Value is also created for employees, suppliers and society through, for example, salaries, revenue, employment and taxes, as well as sustainability activities and community relations.
In Essity’s strategy work, the external environment and markets are analyzed as a means of identifying external trends, drivers, opportunities and risks. Part of the basis for Essity’s strategy work is a materiality analysis where Essity and the company’s stakeholders rank the issues and areas that are perceived as being important for the company. Read more about the results of the 2020 materiality analysis. The annual strategy process includes an analysis phase and assessment of the risks present in the business units. The company’s most material climate-related risks and opportunities have also been identified and assessed.
A description of the risks that impact Essity and related measures are presented here.