Fibers and pulp are key raw materials used by Essity, and being the world’s largest fiber buyer, Essity is determined to source fiber in a responsible manner (for more info: H7. Fiber sourcing - Essity Annual and Sustainability Report 2022 ). This renewable material is used in all our tissue products (toilet paper, kitchen rolls, wipers, hand towels, facial tissue and napkins just to mention a few) as well as in our absorbing hygiene products (adult diapers, baby diapers, feminine protection). Fibers and pulp are also used in some of our wound care products and of course in many packaging solutions.

Main Country of Origin

Close to 47% of the virgin fibers we use come from Europe, where Scandinavia alone represents 20%. South America accounts for 37% of Essity’s pulp sourcing and most of the volumes come from tree plantations in Brazil. North America accounts for 16% of our virgin fiber volumes, with US being the main origin.

Risks Identified 

Essity recognizes that there are sustainability risks associated with fibers and pulp. The risks may vary both in nature and likelihood depending on geographical location, Essity identifies risks in the supply chain such as illegal logging, unsustainable forest management, land rights and indigenous peoples’ rights, loss of species, as well as worker wages and benefits and health and safety issues.

Essity believes that the most severe risks are early in the supply chain, in forest management, rather than among the direct suppliers: the pulp producers. 

Mitigation Activities

Considering the risks that we have identified, and where in the supply chain they usually appear, we use a careful mix of activities and requirements to mitigate risks: raw material certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council (FCS) and Program for Endorsement of Forest (PEFC), assuring a chain of custody, audits, self-assessment questionnaires and careful supplier selection.

As Essity is such a large buyer of fibers and pulp, it makes sense to have one of the mitigation activities as a KPI target for responsible procurement – that all wood-based fresh fiber should be certified according to FSC or PEFC. Target fulfilment 2022: 97%. For more information: Essity Annual Sustainability Report – H7 Fiber sourcing.

Essity’s awareness of risks is also reflected in our special sourcing policy specifically targeting this material category and highlighting the following areas: 1. Illegally harvested wood. 2. Wood harvested in violation of traditional or human rights. 3. Wood from forests in which high conservation values are threatened by forest management activities. 4. Wood from forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use. 5. Wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted. 6. All fresh wood-based fiber materials must be sourced through a publicly recognized Chain-of-Custody system and fulfill all legal requirements for trading.