CO₂-free production of hygiene papers at Essity

At its mill in Mainz-Kostheim, leading hygiene and healthcare multinational Essity has become the first company to succeed in the CO₂-free production of paper. This has been made possible by reducing energy consumption, powering the paper machine with electricity from renewable sources and using green hydrogen. Essity burns hydrogen, a scarce resource, at production stages where green electricity has no role to play, for example in firing processes for drying toilet tissue, which require very high temperatures. For this purpose, Essity converted the burners of the drying unit on one of its paper machines to operate with up to 100 percent hydrogen. The pilot project was carried out on the largest and most efficient paper machine at the site without having to halt production. If the process continues to prove successful and when the necessary infrastructure is available, Essity intends to install it at other sites in the future for the CO₂-free production of paper.

Ziele des Projektes

For Essity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions has been an important focus over many decades. By 2050, the company wants to become carbon neutral and to dispense entirely with fossil fuels. The efficient use of resources, the electrification of production processes and an expansion of renewable energies (e.g. low-carbon hydrogen) are important targets on the way to net zero. In 2022, Essity’s global CO₂ emissions per tonne produced were 23 percent lower than in 2005.

Thorsten Becherer, Plant Manager at the Essity works in Mainz-Kostheim

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Essity has trialled the use of green hydrogen on the largest and most efficient paper machine at the Mainz-Kostheim mill, the PM4. Up to 37,000 tonnes of CO₂ can be saved per year on the PM4. This corresponds to around a quarter of the mill’s total CO₂ emissions.

Sum invested

Essity: €4.0 million

Public funding

€1.4 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


Essity and Schott AG, together with Stadtwerke Mainz, are driving forward the use of hydrogen in energy-intensive industries in the region. The German federal state of Hessen is funding the Essity project with a grant of €1.4 million from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).


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