Illustration showing the cycle of responsible sourcing, resource efficient production, and sustainable solutions - Libresse

Our approach to sustainability

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword – it’s the key to the survival of our planet. Global warming is one of the most serious problems in the world today, and 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.

At Libresse, we’re proud to be manufacturing 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.

The provenance of our products

Responsible sourcing really matters to us and we’re always looking at ways to reduce the environmental impact in new products, through smart design and materials. For example, our pulp suppliers use wood fibre that comes from carefully managed sources. Showing consideration for nature has always been of the utmost importance to us, and an objective we continue to ambitiously pursue.

*The carbon footprint on ultra towels in Europe between 2008-2019 are based on Life Cycle Assessments conducted by Essity  and verified by IVL, Swedish Environmental Research Institute Ltd, 2019

Reducing our carbon footprint

As part of LCA’s assessment, we’ve also looked at our impact on global warming, or put another way, the carbon footprint of our products. Carbon footprint refers to the emissions of greenhouse gases into the air through a product’s life cycle. We’ve been working hard to reduce the carbon footprint of our absorbent products. Since 2008 for instance, we’ve reduced the carbon footprint of our Ultra Towels by 17 per cent.

More sustainable packaging

As part of our commitment to improve wellbeing for women and reduce our environmental and carbon footprint, we introduced packaging made from renewable materials on a significant part of our portfolio: all liners, Ultra towels and Maxi towels.

Our towels plastic bags are now made from at least 50% renewable sources, using responsibly grown sugar cane and our liners paper packaging is made from 100% renewable fibers. 

The 50% renewable packaging content has been verified according to EN 16640:2015 or ASTM D6866.

Reducing packaging

Cutting down on waste is a big priority for us too. One way to reduce waste is to make the products thinner. Another way is to reduce packaging. We’ve reduced the packaging 14 per cent on all of our thin towels since 2008.
With our Ultra Towels, for example, we’ve cut down on packaging, and are using materials and energy more efficiently to make the towels thinner. This makes them more comfortable and practical for you.
Feminine products have come in for some criticism in the past over the challenges of disposing of them in a way that doesn’t have a harmful impact on the environment. Thanks to your input, we’ve improved on the disposability of your towels. You told us that towel disposal when you’re out and about was your number one gripe – there often isn’t a bin, and they can’t be flushed down the toilet because it clogs up the sanitation system and ruins the environment. So we created Roll.Press.Go – innovative towels that come with a wrap that completely seals on all sides. It’s a smart, easy and hygienic way to dispose of towels, anywhere, at any time.

Reusable products

Together with the rest of our assortment, we are also offering menstrual cups and re-usable period underwear, that can be used again and again after washing, providing women with a sustainable choice during their period. We have compared re-usable period underwear with current products: 1 pair of re-usable period underwear is compared to the use of 1 pair of regular underwear made of cotton (50%) or nylon (50%) in combination with 50 pcs Bodyform Ultra Normal and 50 pcs Bodyform Ultra Night, all underwear washed 50 times. That has 68% less impact on the environment. Our period pants use approximately one third of the carbon footprint of a disposable towel and 88% less waste is produced, versus using an underwear and 100 Ultra Towels.

We’re proud of lots of other things we’re doing too. We care about the planet and the people that live on it, and below are just a few of the ways we’re making a difference.

Taboo busting

The taboos, ignorance and preconceptions surrounding menstruation are jeopardising the health of millions of women every day. We’re active in combating this. For example, we recently organised a menstrual hygiene training session for girls aged 10 to 12 in Haikou, China, together with the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). The training session provided the girls with an opportunity to discuss their bodies, the importance of good hygiene during menstruation, and of feeling pride in what happens naturally every month.

Improving knowledge

Libresse’s ‘Discover What Fits Your Body’ educational program involves teaching girls in primary schools in Malaysia about menstruation and the changes that happen in the body during puberty. Each girl receives a starter kit from Libresse, which includes a brochure to help parents speak with their daughters about their bodies and menstruation.

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