Loss of water biodiversity also affects Essity’s operations, from access to raw materials and production facilities to the communities in which our employees and consumers live. Essity works in different ways to reduce water use and protect biodiversity, thereby contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 Clean water and sanitation and SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production.
Water risks differ around the world, and we assess risks and impacts individually for our production facilities, both from a geographic and an operating perspective. Water is mainly needed for transporting fiber during the production process. We recirculate water that has been used in production several times to help reduce energy use for heating and treatment of water. Most of the water is treated after use and is discharged.
Environmental permits for tissue plants also include limits for typical pollutants, such as chemical oxygen demand, phosphorus, and nitrogen. Essity is investing in new wastewater treatment technology to meet the increasing requirements on quality of discharged water. This is particularly important in locations where water is shared with many different users, such as along major rivers. For several years we have been working actively to reduce the volume of water used and the level of suspended solids and organic content (BOD), focusing mainly on improving our water management.