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Essity has introduced new water targets that are adapted to local conditions, as water usage in many cases is a local issue. The new targets apply to all mills and focus on treating water as effectively as possible, as well as reducing water usage.
Water is a critical resource and, along with climate change, is one of the most critical sustainability issues facing the world today. We have every reason to treat, reduce and rationalize water usage at every plant.
Most of our plants, which account for 97% of our water usage, are located in areas with a plentiful supply of water.
2016 is the first year we are reporting in accordance with our new water targets. The targets have been established based on what is most relevant. Water supply is not as scarce in Sweden as it is in water-stressed regions, such as Colombia or Spain.
For the first time, Essity has conducted a water risk assessment at all of its pulp suppliers. In total, 54 suppliers were evaluated, and most are located in low-risk areas or regions.
Pulp production requires large volumes of water and we therefore need to ensure that our suppliers’ production is not associated with high water risks. We used the external tool WRI Aqueduct that considers multiple risk factors but mainly risks related to water quantity, water quality and regulatory risks. Only a few suppliers are located in areas with medium to high risk.
“We have no high-risk pulp suppliers with regards to water,” says Armin Benner, environmental specialist at Essity. “Now we will evaluate the results and based on this thorough analysis, we will decide if it is necessary to replace or reduce volumes from any supplier.”
The water risk assessment will be updated on a regular basis and we will also look into other key supply streams. Essity has evaluated water risks at its own production sites since 2011.
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