Global hygiene and health company Essity is investing approximately $415 million in an integrated facility for the production of pulp based on alternative fiber from plant-based agricultural by-products. The investment is taking place at Essity’s tissue plant in Mannheim, Germany. Production is expected to commence in the second half of 2020.
Essity has signed a license agreement securing exclusive rights to a new proprietary technology to produce pulp from alternative fiber that will have the same quality as conventional wood-based pulp at a competitive cost. The source of the fiber is agricultural by-products such as wheat straw which is often made into compost or incinerated.
Essity, one of the world’s largest tissue manufacturers, is now evaluating the integration of this alternative fiber as a complement to fresh and recovered fiber as raw material in its production.
“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,” said Magnus Groth, President and CEO of Essity.
The process will enable a reduction in the use of water, energy and chemicals while the by-product of the integrated pulping process can be further refined to serve as a substitute for oil-based chemicals.
In 2018, Essity decided on new climate targets for 2030 that, according to the Science Based Targets Initiative, are aligned with the ambition of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming. Essity is committed to reducing its climate impact linked to energy use and purchased electricity, and its indirect climate impact from, for example, material use and waste management.