18-months at EssityPublished: 2018-10-31 10:51
I’ve been with Essity for around 18-months, so I thought an interesting place to start for my first blog post would be to think back about some of the things I’ve been able to do in that relatively short space of time. In no particular order, these would be my highlights:
1. Met HRH Prince Charles and had dinner at Buckingham Palace
OK, when I said my highlights would be in no particular order that wasn’t entirely true. Meeting the future King of England and dining at Buckingham Palace is a pretty special highlight. It all came about thanks to a chance discussion with the Bodyform marketing manager after a news story had hit the headlines back in March 2017. A charity in Leeds had gone to the newspapers with a story about teenage girls skipping school while on their periods because they didn’t have access to the appropriate menstruation products. We were both shocked that in this day and age young girls could be faced with that sort of dilemma. As a company that makes Bodyform products, we felt we had a role to play in helping to ease the burden of period poverty and so that same day, we pledged to donate 100,000 pads every month to HRH Prince of Wales’ charity In Kind Direct. We’ve worked with In Kind Direct for years and we know what an amazing job they do in making sure those in need have access to essential products that most of us take for granted. Following this commitment, six months later we were very kindly invited to celebrate In Kind Direct’s 20th anniversary at Buckingham Palace in the presence of Prince Charles.
I feel very lucky to have had such an amazing experience thanks to my job. I never thought I’d see the inside of Buckingham Palace let alone share a dining room with Prince Charles. By the way, the food was pretty awesome.
2. Filming how we make Cushelle for BBC Two’s Inside the Factory
In early 2018 I worked with Voltage TV to produce an entire episode of Inside the Factory dedicated to the making of toilet roll. This included a four-day trip out to Sundsvall in Sweden where we filmed how Essity sustainably sources pulp from trees which is used to make Cushelle toilets rolls. Filming took place in the midst of winter, so it was a refreshing -16 degrees when we did the filming. But it was a fantastic experience to see the very start of the process and understand how Essity ensures that the forest is protected and the process of sourcing pulp is sustainable. It was also an experience to spend four days with Gregg Wallace who hosts the series. He likes to tell Dad jokes. A lot. But a nicer guy you could not meet.
3. Creating a national programme to improve hygiene in primary schools
One of the things I love about working for Essity is the autonomy that I enjoy with my job. This year I’ve been able to develop and shape a national campaign for the company that is built around improving the hygiene standards and the education of children in UK primary schools. I’ve met some amazing people working on this campaign from school teachers and primary school pupils, through to charities, health organisations and education bodies. It’s amazing how passionate people are about improving conditions in schools and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of it. Find out more about the campaign here or watch this film.
4. Developing the media materials for the biggest day in the company’s history
Before Essity became Essity, the company was SCA. SCA was a huge Swedish hygiene and forest products company of which the shareholders decided to split into two. SCA would remain as a forest products company, while the hygiene and health products side of the company would split away and become Essity. This all officially happened in August 2017 and just six months into my time with the company, I was given the opportunity to develop the worldwide media materials, including press releases, key message documents, and Q&As, to announce the split to press throughout the world.
5. Becoming a Dad
Around 8-months into my time with Essity my beautiful daughter was born and off I went on my paternity leave not realising that my world had changed forever. My daughter is the best thing that has ever happened to me and she is my absolute priority. Why is that important in the context of a blog about my job? Because Essity have been brilliant in understanding that new parents can sometimes be tired, stressed and emotional in those first few months. I felt very well supported while I got used to life as a Dad and now, 14-months on, the work-life balance that Essity affords me means that I get to spend valuable time with my daughter every single day. To me, there’s nothing more important than that.