Essity provide millions of people all over the world with essential hygiene and health products, and renewable wood fiber materials make up a substantial component of these. Consumers expect us to take responsibility for the origin of these, and for us responsible fiber sourcing means using only certified wood fibers.
All the wood fiber we source and use must come from suppliers that are certified according to the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) or Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™). Our demand is that the fiber at a minimum will always meet the FSC Controlled Wood standard, which means that the origin of the fiber has been verified by an independent third party. FSC is an organization that sets robust and fully transparent standards for responsible forest management that safeguards biodiversity, proper forest conservation and consideration for the people living in and by the forests. Essity participates on a regular basis in stakeholder dialogues concerning forest management, which include other key stakeholders like the environmental organizations WWF and Greenpeace, as well as local stakeholders.
In addition to FSC and PEFC forest management and traceability certifications, we always conduct our own risk assessments of fiber suppliers based on our fiber policy. We ask suppliers to respond to detailed questionnaires and to show an approved fiber traceability certification. This gives us the necessary information to do a risk assessment, after which we follow-up with selected suppliers with on-site audits to verify how they work. If there are any deviations we work together with suppliers to correct these.
A few of Essity’s products contain cotton fibers. The volumes are limited, but as cotton production in certain countries could be associated with sustainability risks, Essity’s ambition is that all sourced cotton or material containing cotton fibers should be sustainable. This means that the cotton is certified, organic, recycled or from a low-risk area. Essity is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), the largest sustainability program for cotton. BCI is Essity’s preferred program for more sustainable cotton, though other programs are also acknowledged.
Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) is a global, not-for-profit organization that sets the standards for responsibly managed forests, both environmentally and socially. When timber leaves an FSC-certified forest, FSC ensures all companies along the supply chain meet their best practice standards.