Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Replacing ‘Certified Fresh Wood Fiber With Renewable Wheat Straw’


Essity will source sustainable wheat straw for tissue production from the surrounding farms.

Dailycsr.com – 03 June 2019 – Essity is a health and hygiene leader in the global corporate world which is committed towards circular society, whereby it is going to invest nearly “MSEK 400 in a sustainable alternative fiber facility” for its Mannheim, Germany based manufacture plant. Through this project, the company will be able to generate “high quality consumer and professional hygiene tissue products” that will be sourced from “wheat straw”.
Wheat straw is a “renewable resource” as it is a by-product of agriculture. Therefore, it can be grouped under a “circular innovation” which will bring in an improvement on the “overall environmental impact” generated from tissue products manufactured at the above mentioned facility. As per plans, the sustainable initiative will kick off with the production process sometimes in the latter half of 2020.
In the words of the president as well as the chief executive of Essity, Magnus Groth:
“To support our sustainability ambitions, we continuously assess new production methods. This is one example of how innovation can contribute to a sustainable and circular society”.
Besides being among the largest tissue manufacturers of the world, Essity is also the “largest purchaser of fresh pulp” to use “recycled fiber” in the tissue manufacturing process. Wheat grain is obtained from the leftover stalks from the field post the harvest of wheat.
Although, some of the wheat straws are turned into “animal bedding or ground cover”, nearly over fifty percent of wheat straws across the globe lands up being wasted. Essity will be turning this waste into valuable resource by collecting them from farmers located “in and around Mannheim”.
The “US-based Sustainable Fiber Technologies” and Essity have entered into “an exclusive license agreement” which will give the latter access to the former’s “Phoenix Process”, a technology of converting “plant-based renewable sources to pulp” which in turn can be used to produce tissue products. The said process can be competitive to fresh wood pulp resource, as the tissues manufactured from wheat straw in this manner will generate equally “bright, soft and strong as tissue”.
Moreover, with wheat straw comes “significant sustainability benefits” which sees a “significant reduction” in water as well as energy consumption in the manufacturing process involved. While, the Essity Professional Hygiene’s president, Don Lewis added:
“This process will enable Essity to replace some certified fresh wood fiber with renewable wheat straw.  This will result in an environmental benefit as the process uses significantly less water and energy. Additionally, it transforms an unused agricultural by-product into a scalable new tissue fiber source”.
In fact, stretching the circular economic model further, the wheat straw pulp’s by-product can be utilised in several ways which contributes in turn in designing “a circular outcome for this resource”. To name a few such sustainable outcomes’ examples would be “fertilizer and soil enhancement” which can be seen as alternative sustainable solution to synthetic products that use petroleum along with “industrial and construction additives”.
Essity aims to slash down its products’ 33% environmental footprint by the year of 2030. Moreover, the company’s targets of carbon emissions have been expanded which received the “Science Based Targets” initiative’s approval whereby keeping itself in line with the Paris Agreement’s climate impact goals.
At present, Essity’s “consumer and professional hygiene” segment generate sixty percent of its tissue products from “fresh wood fiber” obtained from “certified sources” while the rest is resourced from “recycled fiber tissue”.