SCA is taking part in the International Year of Sanitation declared by the UN by stepping up its involvement in hygiene issues. At SCA's Annual General Meeting, President and CEO Jan Johansson explained that throughout 2008 SCA will be conducting an initiative in the area of hygiene to highlight a matter that is emerging as the most important public health issue for the world's population.
"As a leading player in this area, it is natural for us to put the spotlight on hygiene issues," said Johansson. "Hygiene is crucial in developing countries. But even in the West, people become ill and even die due to poor hygiene."
According to Johansson, access to basic personal hygiene products is essential for giving people in developing countries a better life. And he said he hopes that SCA's involvement in this area will help put hygiene issues higher up on the agenda nationally and internationally.
"The International Year of Sanitation is an excellent initiative, since it highlights how even small measures can improve the everyday lives for poverty stricken people around the world. Diapers, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper and incontinence protection products are a matter of both health and quality of life," said Johansson.
SCA is currently conducting a global hygiene survey in Russia, Mexico, the US, Sweden, Germany, the UK and China to identify local variations and approaches to hygiene. Later in the year, SCA among other things will be launching a Web site focusing on hygiene issues.
Personal hygiene products today account for more than half of SCA's sales, and with the potential that exists in the aging population and rising general prosperity around the world, Johansson expects the segment to continue growing.
"It is important to increase knowledge about the importance of hygiene for improved public health," concluded Johansson. "In fact, in many parts of the world it is not poverty or even lack of water that are the obstacles, but taboos and lack of knowledge."
Stockholm, 8 April 2008
For further information please contact
Bodil Eriksson, SVP Corporate Communications, +46 8 788 52 34
Pär Altan, VP Media Relations, +46 8 788 52 37