For Essity, sustainability in procurement is not a bolt on or a parallel organization. Sustainability considerations are part of normal processes and procedures that are guiding the decisions and actions of the procurement organization. By working according to agreed routines in supplier selection, supplier qualification and during regular risk assessments, sustainability risks are identified and mitigated or avoided altogether.
Essity staff is kept up to date through regular trainings, and procurement people are also sensitized and updated about specific issues through ad hoc information sharing. A specialized sustainable procurement team is responsible for making sure human rights and environmental aspects are covered in normal working routines for the rest of the organization They are also responsible for identifying changing conditions, new risks or new legal or market requirements that might necessitate updated procedures, tools and / or training programs.
In 2022, procurement staff training covered items such as Code of Conduct, Sustainability Risk Assessment, and the new Human Rights Due Diligence in Supply Chains Legislations. The trainings were performed as face to face meetings, through live webinars and recorded presentations.
Sources of Information
Essity is relying on several information channels to form a picture of a supplier, of the risks associated with certain materials or with a particular geographical area. Suppliers with manufacturing sites are visited and audited regularly – and information from these site visits are shared with relevant functions. Essity is favoring long term relationships and extended collaboration with suppliers, leading to better knowledge about how the suppliers are performing and potential risks. External indexes such as Sedex, Dow Jones Risk Center, Transparency International, and various media and legal screening services contribute to general risk awareness.
More in depth insights are also shared through industry associations, collaboration with NGOs and active participation in webinars and external trainings. Supplier and site specific information is obtained through different questionnaires, like the more general Sedex Self-Assessment Questionnaire or Essity’s own questionnaire to fiber suppliers. The sharpest information is obtained through on-site audits.