The responsibility to implement our human rights commitments follows our line management structure. To safeguard compliance and efforts, the Essity human rights commitments are overseen and followed up by Essity Compliance department, reporting findings on these matters into Essity’s Compliance Council, which includes members of the Executive Management Team.
Our approach to human rights is based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. As a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, we actively support human rights and conduct our business in a manner that is consistent with the principles of the Global Compact, the International Bill of Human Rights, the ILO Core Conventions and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Human rights due diligence is integrated into our key processes, and whenever we identify a potential or actual negative impact we will take steps to mitigate or remediate any harmful activities.
We support and respect internationally recognized human rights wherever we operate. When national laws conflict with international human rights standards, we will adhere to national law, while seeking ways to honor and respect the principles of international human rights.
Our human right´s commitment is reflected throughout our Code of Conduct, Essity’s Human Rights Policy and other company policies. All our business partners, suppliers and customers are expected to follow principles equivalent to those included in Essity’s Code of Conduct. Our Supplier Code of Conduct and our Business Partner Code of Conduct includes our expectations regarding human rights and employee relations as well as health and safety. Following these standards is an important factor when selecting our business partners and potential acquisitions. For more details on how we work with human rights, see Essity Human Right Framework.
Essity’s human rights due diligence process
Essity’s human rights due diligence process was developed in 2014. The process is guided by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, which ensures that we proactively detect and respond to any adverse human rights impact including the business actions to respect and support children’s rights.
The Essity Human Right Impact Assessment (HRIA) process include group level HRIAs every third year and in the years between, local impact assessments in different countries with focus on the risks highlighted in the group HRIA. The latest group level HRIA was performed in late 2022 and the next country impact assessments are in plan for the next three-year period.
Recent local impact assessments have been carried out in Mexico, Chile and Brazil (2016-2018) and India 2020. As a result of the assessment in India, a three-year mitigation plan has been decided with the objectives to strengthen the human right activities for the local supply chain, increase our efforts to raise awareness on employee’s psychosocial well-being and gender inequality.
Defining salient issues
Essity’s salient human rights issues are defined through the Human Right Impact Assessment (HRIA) process. In our Global Impact assessment report for 2022 we describe assessment methodology, outcome and our mitigation activities. In no specific order, Essity’s salient human rights issues are: