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Essity strives to be a dedicated partner in the local communities in which we operate.
Essity wants to help solve social challenges. These challenges are a source of innovation and change. In some cases, we can contribute to solutions as part of its business, while in others, we adopt a corporate citizen approach.
Over time, the social dimension has become an increasingly important part of companies’ CSR strategies – and this has also been the case for our company. The social needs of communities are growing, and many of these can only be solved through cooperation between companies and communities.
At the same time, these needs are a source of inspiration and development for companies’ business models and product offerings. There are ample opportunities to create shared value between companies and the community, where business value for the company and social value for the community go hand in hand.
Essity prioritizes social initiatives with a clear link to the company’s values, expertise, operations and geographic presence. Many initiatives are in hygiene and health, often related to women and children.
The projects vary over time and between regions. They range from hygiene programs to emergency relief or support for local projects and organizations. These projects strengthen our position in the community and build loyalty and goodwill. They contribute to our reputation as an attractive employer, and make our employees proud to be working for us. In 2016, Essity invested SEK 32m in approximately 400 projects.
Essity initiated a collaboration with UNICEF in Mexico in conjunction with the UN’s International Day of the Girl Child on October 11. The cooperation aims to disseminate information in order to tackle problems that often affect adolescent girls and to finance the UNICEF program for girls and boys in Mexico.
The cooperation concerns pressing problems. In Mexico, a country with 15.6 million adolescent girls, challenges include teenage pregnancies, violence and early school dropout. Mexico has most teenage pregnancies among OECD countries and many of these young mothers suffer from serious complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Violence is also common among young people in Mexico: 36 of 1,000 young people aged 10–17 report being affected by some kind of violence or aggression (ENSANUT:2012).
Essity and UNICEF are targeting young girls and also their parents as teenage years are such an important period. The skills, abilities and resilience capacity acquired during this time are crucial for the potential of people in adult life. The #hablemostodo (let’s talk about everything) campaign was run in social media during the autumn. We will also share key messages via Saba Teens packaging (Essity’s feminine care brand in Mexico) and through the brand’s other channels. The messages will focus on the importance of violence prevention, completing school and not becoming a parent at too young an age.
“We promote hygiene and health, and want to increase our commitment to also influence equal opportunities and the well-being of women. Our reach will be greater together with UNICEF,” says Atilano Sanchez, Vice President Sales & Marketing for Essity in Mexico and Central America.
Essity and WSSCC break the silence on menstruation.
The taboos, ignorance and preconceptions surrounding menstruation are jeopardizing the health of millions of women every day, particularly in emerging markets. But menstruation is also a subject that few people talk about in more developed countries. Essity’s partnership with the UN Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is an example of the company’s proactive efforts to break the taboos surrounding menstruation, and raise awareness of the importance of good menstrual hygiene.
WSSCC is the only UN body that works exclusively with hygiene and sanitation, and the partnership with Essity has involved a number of joint activities, such as a menstrual hygiene management training for young girls in conjunction with Team SCA’s stopover in Sanya, China in early 2015. In May, a seminar was held at the UN Headquarters in New York in which SCA’s SVP Communications Joséphine Edwall Björklund and SVP Sustainability Kersti Strandqvist participated. Attendees included representatives of various NGOs and UN bodies, decision-makers and members of the business community. The seminar focused on how the taboos surrounding menstruation impact women’s role in society and how cooperation between public and private sectorscan make a difference. Hygiene seminars and activities designed to influence public opinion have also been carried out within the framework of the partnership.
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