share this icon


Global macrotrends, from population increases and higher standards of living to resource shortages and climate change, rapidly alter the conditions for SCA’s business operations. By analyzing the external environment and trends, and maintaining close customer and consumer dialogs, SCA can leverage these drivers, thus enabling the creation of long-term sustainable growth

Growing and aging population

The world’s population is growing and living longer. The global population is today just over seven billion. The UN predicts that this figure will grow to more than nine billion by 2050. This growing population is resulting in an increased demand for hygiene products and thus creating favorable growth opportunities for SCA. The greatest population increase is expected to occur in Asia, Latin America and Africa, which means that having a presence in these markets and offering adapted products will be strategically important. SCA is prioritizing growth in selected emerging markets, such as China, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Russia. An ageing population will put more pressure on the elderly care system and an increasing number of elderly people will require homecare. We are, at the same time, becoming healthier and continuing to lead active lives at an older age. More elderly people increases demand for incontinence products, both in mature and emerging markets, as the occurrence of incontinence among people over the age of 65 is expected to be between 15 and 20%.

Higher standard of living

At the same time as the world’s population is growing, the level of poverty in the world is decreasing. An increasing number of people now earn more than USD 2 per day (the UN’s definition of poverty) or have moved into the middle class. Once people’s most basic needs for food and shelter are met, health and hygiene become top priorities. This creates favorable growth opportunities, and SCA is working to develop business models for consumers with limited resources.

Global insight into health and hygiene

Limited or no access to hygiene and sanitation is one of the greatest global challenges to be resolved. The knowledge that good hygiene improves health and well-being is growing worldwide. SCA continuously develops new hygiene solutions and educates, for example, young women about menstruation and puberty, as well as teaching children about the importance of good hand hygiene. Incontinence products enable elderly people to live more active and dignified lives.

Growing economies and a changing world

Globalization, urbanization, political decisions, the global economy and cultural dynamics all impact SCA. By trying to anticipate structural changes in our external environment, SCA is ensuring that it will capitalize on the benefits and tackle the challenges that arise as a result of these changes. Economic power relationships are changing and emerging markets, such as China and Brazil, are becoming increasingly important.

Changing customer and consumer behavior

Trends, technological developments and prevailing values cause customer and consumer behavior to change. Accordingly, the ability to anticipate and exceed customer and consumer expectations is becoming increasingly important.

  • Sustainable consumption: Limited resources, political prioritizations and knowledgeable, aware customers and consumers are increasing demand for sustainable products and services.
  • Digitalization: Many purchases are now made online, which is changing the rules of the game, for example, when it comes to product development, marketing and distribution. Customers and consumers are showing greater demand for digital solutions.
  • The company behind the brand: More than ever before, customers and consumers are paying attention to the companies behind the products and services they buy and imposing greater demands on these companies in terms of corporate responsibility.
  • Innovation: Innovative products, services and business models are required to respond to these changing behaviors.

Scarce resources

As a result of the growing global economy and world population, an increasing number of people are now sharing the planet’s resources.

  • Energy: The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that the global need for energy will increase by one-third by 2040, which will probably entail higher costs and, in some cases, an energy shortage. As a major energy consumer, this is an important issue for SCA and the Group continuously works to enhance its energy efficiency. New technology is not only resource-efficient, but usually also generates fewer emissions.
  • Water: The UN predicts that two-thirds of the world’s population may live in areas with water shortages by 2025. Access to water is critical for people, industry and agriculture. SCA’s production operations are dependent on access to water and the Group is working to achieve its ambitious goals for effi cient water usage.
  • Forest management: Illegal felling and felling of forests with a high conservation value contribute to global deforestation and constitute a threat to biodiversity. SCA has a Group target for checking the origin of all wood raw material. Forests are a key component in SCA’s value chain and provide it with access to forest raw materials.
  • Human capital: The economic progress of the world’s emerging markets and increasingly knowledge-intensive business is increasing the need for skilled labor and management. SCA is investing in the development and training of its employees and takes a strategic approach to meeting its future requirements for employees and expertise.

Climate change

Climate change is one of the most critical environmental and social issues facing the world today. Authorities are setting targets to reduce CO2 emissions, and the private sector is expected to play its part. SCA is actively working to combat climate change by investing in new technology, efficiency enhancements and biofuel and wind power initiatives. SCA’s forests have a net growth that gives rise to the net absorption of more CO2 than emissions generated through the total use of fossil fuels in its own production operations.