Around the world, consumers today are becoming more aware and concerned about their impact as global citizens and the importance of sustainable living. Their desire to minimise harm to the planet, improve ethical treatment, and achieve economic well-being has a significant impact on how businesses operate. While talks of and actions around sustainability are becoming more prevalent, it is not new.
Evolution of the sustainability vision
In 1987, the United Nations published Our Common Future1. Often called the Brundtland Report, it envisions sustainability as:
“Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
In the 30+ years since, governments and companies across the globe have worked together to expand on this idea. Today, the United Nations (UN) has identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals.2 According to the UN3:
“The Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice.”
Bostik draws on our parent company Arkema’s extensive information on sustainability and corporate social responsibility. We have a strategic or direct contribution to several of these goals as they connect to our disposable hygiene adhesives business:
- Good health and well-being
- Gender equality
- Clean water and sanitation
- Responsible consumption and production
- Climate action
- Life below water
In fact, sustainability is a key consideration in every innovation and each decision we make. We also carefully consider how our choices impact your goals as a disposable hygiene manufacturer and those of your consumers.
The intersection of environment, economy, and society
Looking at the interplay of your hygiene company’s efforts and the overall environmental, economic, and social impact is important to determine what is truly a sustainable improvement and what is not.
For example: Making operational changes that reduce a disposable hygiene product’s carbon footprint, while also improving employee working conditions, can deliver positive value. Now imagine the changes result in higher production costs that significantly increase the selling price so much that consumers cannot afford to buy the product. This would have a negative economic impact, and the changes could no longer be considered sustainable.
Taking action through corporate social responsibility (CSR)
CSR is a strategy that businesses like Bostik and Arkema use to become more sustainable. Arkema’s goal, and Bostik’s, is to maximise positive value for all while minimising negative impacts. This includes fostering teamwork and partnerships with our many internal and external stakeholders while never losing sight of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. We also support the UN Global Compact4 and comply with the Responsible Care5 initiative.
At Bostik and Arkema, we are taking action through three core commitments for CSR:
- Sustainable Solutions: We act and innovate for our customers and end users
- Responsible Manufacturing: We act for people’s health and safety, and for the environment
- Open Dialogue: We act together and contribute to social progress
Responsibly for Hygiene: Naturally from Bostik
In an industry devoted to single-use products, we are working to meet the needs of the consumer while embracing and enhancing sustainability in disposable hygiene. However, article producers’ knowledge and understanding of CSR is at varying stages across the globe. Some have clear, well-thought-out strategies that they are communicating. Others need support.
That’s why we have created our new “Responsibly for Hygiene” programme of webinars, podcasts, website content, and product launches. Through them, we aim to help producers at all levels continue to expand their CSR and sustainability knowledge and make decisions supported by a holistic approach to the topic.
Collaboration is key to sustainability success in disposable hygiene
To achieve greater sustainability in our operations and yours, collaboration is essential—as is sharing a common language. Working together, we can craft solutions to help deliver a positive impact for a more sustainable world.
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