Fiber sourcing

Responsible sourcing is key for SCA and includes ensuring the Group’s fiber comes from responsible sources.

A new fiber sourcing target

In 2015, SCA introduced a new target for controlling the use of fresh fiber in its products. The new target states that “all fresh wood fiber-based raw material in our products will be FSC® or PEFC certified, or fulfill the FSC’s standard for controlled wood.” The target includes all deliveries of fresh wood fiber (timber, pulp, packaging, mother reels and articles supplied by third parties) to SCA’s production sites. SCA already has good control of its fiber sourcing, and with the new target, the company will advance to an even higher level.

A global fiber database

SCA has a global fiber sourcing policy in place and a shared business system – the Global Fiber Database – for the assessment and purchase of fiber in compliance with SCA’s forest management policies. The database includes all of the Group’s pulp, recovered fiber and alternative fiber suppliers. It provides the purchasing function, environmental department, R&D department and production facilities with fast and easy access to important information about suppliers, region of supply, wood species, pulp specifications, bleaching methods and life cycle assessment data.

The information also includes the suppliers’ product certification status: FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council), PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), Controlled Wood, ecolabels, ISO 9000, etc. As a result, SCA can ensure traceability, the R&D department can check the availability of a certain raw material and the mills can show customers exactly what has been purchased. The database is continually updated to support SCA’s global operations.

Supplier verification

SCA requires pulp suppliers to guarantee that they have robust systems and documented procedures in place to ensure traceability and compliance throughout the supply chain. In 2015, SCA had 38 pulp suppliers, of which the ten largest accounted for 83% of purchases.

All pulp suppliers are Chain of Custody (CoC) certified according to the FSC and/or PEFC. SCA’s Fiber Sourcing Policy includes a step-by-step process to support suppliers in their transition to third-party certification.

Supplier audit results in 2015

SCA audits its suppliers to verify their compliance with the Fiber Sourcing Policy and supplier requirements. All suppliers were assessed to ensure continued compliance with the chain of custody certification. In addition, all suppliers received questionnaires in order to update fiber and ecolabel information. Visits were also made to 11 sites in 2015. All suppliers demonstrated continued compliance with SCA’s sourcing policies and were retained for continued supply.

Forest certifications and standards

SCA’s target is to purchase all fiber from responsibly managed forests. SCA prioritizes the FSC certification system and encourages all suppliers to work toward certification.

We recognize several systems for forestry management, including the PEFC, SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) and CSA (Canadian Standards Association). Other certification systems may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

All of SCA’s wood-based industries are supplied with FSC-certified timber or timber that meets the FSC’s controlled wood standard. About 56% of the 11.1 million cubic meters of timber delivered and 66% of the 2.0 million tons of pulp deliveries to SCA have FSC and/or PEFC certification. The remaining timber volumes meet the FSC’s standards for controlled wood, while the remaining pulp volumes meet the FSC’s standards for controlled wood or are inspected by SCA’s own auditors.

SCA continued to roll out FSC and PEFC chain of custody in manufacturing sites, adding five sites to the list of chain of custody sites. In total, 43 of the 62 sites within the scope of the roll-out have been chain of custody certified. SCA’s intention is to roll out the chain of custody to all remaining manufacturing sites.

Recovered fiber

SCA uses 75% fresh fiber and 25% recovered fiber in its operations. For a further breakdown at the product level, see Distribution of raw materials in chapter Environmental data. The proportion varies between regions due to differences in consumer preferences and fiber supply and demand. The North American operations use almost 100% recovered fiber, while the proportion of recovered fiber is 78% in Latin America and 43% in Europe.

The declining use of publication papers in North America and Europe has led to limited supplies of recovered fiber. SCA partners with trade organizations and recycled paper operators to expand and improve the collection of recycled paper and board, thereby increasing the availability of recovered fiber. SCA is part owner in several paper-recycling companies, such as IL Recycling and Pressretur in Sweden, Bunzl & Biach in Austria, Paperinkerays in Finland and AFS in the US.