Our approach to sustainability

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword or a bandwagon – it’s the key to the survival of our planet. 
 
We don’t have to tell you that global warming is one of the most serious problems in the world today, but we do want you to know that Essity, the company that produces Libresse towels, liners, tampons and intimate soaps, is committed to finding social and environmentally sound solutions and to producing safe products too. We want to improve the wellbeing of women and transgender people everywhere, and we can’t do that if we’re making a mess of the planet we all call home. 
 
At Libresse, we’re proud to be making and developing our products in a sustainable way. As a company, we’ve always been conscious of protecting our planet and its resources – from what we source, to how we produce, and to what we deliver to our consumers. We know that we’ve got a long way to go, but we’d like for you to come with us on our sustainability journey where we’ll share our learnings, and what we plan to do with them.

CO₂ reduction

When we refer to carbon footprint, this means the total amount of greenhouse gases – for example carbon dioxide (CO₂) and methane (CH₄) – that are released into the atmosphere when producing, using and disposing of a product. High levels of CO₂ in the atmosphere contribute to global warming, so by reducing our CO₂ emissions, we are reducing our climate impact. 
 
We calculate CO₂ reduction by doing an LCA – a Life Cycle Assessment – which looks at a product’s full impact on the environment, starting with the production of raw materials, right through to product use, waste handling and transports.
 
The claim CO₂ reduction on our packs is valid for all our core Ultra towels and for our core absorbent liners. The reduction is 6% and is calculated as an average for these products and from the last upgrade in 2018 for Ultra towels and 2016 for core absorbent liners, and includes changes on both product, packaging and in production. The LCA for this reduction is performed according to ISO standards 14040 series, specific Product Category rules, and has been reviewed by an external third-party verifier.
 
We’ve started running on 100% renewable electricity (from sun, water, wind and biomass) in our own production, instead of finite energy sources, like oil, natural gas and coal. Electricity from renewable sources has a lower carbon footprint compared to electricity produced from fossil fuels and is strictly regulated and controlled.
 
Renewable electricity is acquired through certificates, through Guarantee of Origin. Essity has purchased certificates for 100% of our electricity use for producing our products in our own factories.

Product Innovation

We’re constantly looking for smart new ways to make our products better for, and kinder to, the environment. We do this with clever material sourcing, and always thinking outside the box when it comes to new, harder working products.
 
Sustainability starts with responsible sourcing, so it’s really important to always be looking at ways to reduce the environmental impact in new products with smart design and materials. For example, we use only pulp originating from managed forest to produce our Ultra towels and absorbent liners, and we’ve reduced the plastic in the back sheet of our Ultra towels. Being kind and considerate to nature means the world to us, and so it’s something we continue to pursue every step of our sustainability journey.

Packaging

Yes, it’s what’s inside that counts, but how we wrap our products up and send them out into the world matters too. We’re working on reducing packaging considerably and where we can’t cut down, making a difference with more sustainable choices. Here’s how:

1. Reducing packaging

By making our products thinner, we use less materials and less packaging too – which means less waste overall. By doing this, we’ve reduced the packaging 14% on all of our thin towels since 2008. Thinner towels also are more comfortable and practical for you, so it’s win-win really.


2. More sustainable packaging

We’ve also made the swap to packaging made with material from renewable sources on a significant part of our range.


Ultra Towels

  1. At least 50% of our Ultra towels’ outer bag is made of plastic from renewable sources, using responsibly grown sugar canes, and our Ultra towel outer bags are recyclable too. The 50% renewable packaging content has been verified according to EN 16604.2015 or ASTM D6866.
  2. For our Ultra towel's outer bags (not including the easy wraps around the actual product): the assessment of the claim “Recyclable packaging” has been made based on ISO 14021 (Self-declared environmental claims), ISO 18604 (Packaging and the environment) and the RecyClass requirements.

Core Absorbent Liners

  1. Our liners’ paper packaging is made from renewable fibers, and our liners paper packaging is recyclable too.
  2. The assessment of the claim “Recyclable packaging” has been made based on ISO 14021 (Self-declared environmental claims), ISO 18604 (Packaging and the environment) with guidance from recyclability guidelines from CPI and CEPI.*

* The actual recycling of the material depends on the availability of the recycling system in your town/city. You can check the recycling availability for your country/city by viewing this link.