As a global user of both fresh and recycled wood based fiber materials, Essity is committed to sourcing fresh wood based fiber originating from responsibly managed forests. Today 99.9% of the fresh fiber used in Essity’s products are certified or controlled, which means that its suppliers uphold and safeguard principles on biodiversity, forest conservation and indigenous people’s rights.
"Essity aims to play an active part in preventing deforestation and forest degradation, promoting and increasing the use of responsibly managed and certified forests, and increasing the proportion of certified fibers used in all our products," says Kersti Strandqvist, SVP Sustainability for Essity.
The policy encompasses all procurement of fresh wood based fiber materials within Essity. In addition to emphasizing certified forestry the policy also describes some of the other systematic approaches and control measures used by Essity to further strengthen its wood fiber procurement practices and supplier selection.
Essity is committed to continuously increasing the amount of certified fibers in its products, with preference for the Forest Stewardship Council, FSC, system. To achieve this, the company has set a new corporate fiber target which states that:
- All fresh wood based fiber raw material in its products will be certified according to standards in FSC or PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). The share of FSC-certified fibers is to be continuously increased.
- The material must always be accompanied by an FSC Controlled Wood Chain of Custody certificate, irrespective of whether the material complies with PEFC or another non-FSC forest certification scheme.
- The target includes all Essity products and all deliveries containing fresh wood based fiber (timber, pulp, packaging, mother reels and articles supplied by third-parties to Essity production sites)
Essity will report annually on the outcome in the Essity Annual and Sustainability Report.
Essity will use the new policy as a platform for dialogue and partnerships with other stakeholders, not least within the international community. Essity is one among the almost 200 signatories to the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), which aims to protect forests and end natural forest loss by 2030.
One key element in NYDF is to acknowledge land and forest rights of indigenous people and local communities. In Sweden, Essity has recently established a dialogue with Sámiid Riikkasearvi, the national association for Sweden’s Sami villages.
"Essity wants to be a driving force for positive social and economic development for people and communities affected by forestry operations in our supply chain. In Sweden, we have asked our suppliers to improve their consultation with the Sami villages, not least regarding how new plantations may affect the reindeer herding," says Strandqvist.