The better shopping experience


Highlights from the Corporate Responsibility Report 2020

We help customers around the world create attractive, profitable, and more sustainable in-store environments that strengthen the consumer’s shopping experience.

While doing this, we remain focused on the impacts on the environment and people, ensuring sound management of resources and waste throughout its life cycle.

Despite the pandemic that prevailed in 2020, we have seen positive results in our four key priorities; helping customers to reduce waste, creating the best workplace, driving continuous improvement in operations, and ensuring responsibility throughout the supply chain. It is encouraging to see the progress we have made, from the perspective of our own sustainability journey, as well as what we have done in helping our customers create more sustainable stores, and we share the highlights of the results with you.

Helping customers to reduce waste
Over 10% sales in HL Sustainable Choice


HL Sustainable Choice became part of our standard offer and accounted for more than 10% of sales.

While this is a significant increase vs 2019, sales stayed slightly behind the sales target of 200MSEK we have set for the year, due to the global effects of the pandemic on our business which included the HL Sustainable Choice range.


Creating the best workplace
90% employees find work engaging


We strive towards an inclusive and safe workplace where employees value their work, perform well and are given equal opportunities to develop.

HL places a high priority in making sure that our employees show a high level of engagement. Our annual employee engagement survey reveals that 90% of employees indicated that they find their work engaging, which is 3 percentage points above the score from 2019, and 10 percentage points above the target we set for 2020.

Driving continous improvement in operations
Further commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions


We committed to the Science Based Targets initiative in spring 2020 and our ambition was to set emission reduction targets the same year.

However, we decided to prioritise the set-up of a new framework to facilitate the annual measurements of our greenhouse gas emissions. Emission reduction targets and an action plan on how to achieve them will be set during 2021.


Ensuring responsibility throughout the supply chain
100% of important suppliers signed Purchasing Policy


It is vital that we work strategically with our suppliers to address sustainability issues. The target for important suppliers to sign our Purchasing Policy (replaced by the Code of Conduct for Suppliers as of 2021) in 2020 was set at 90%. We are happy that we achieved 100%, having all the suppliers sign the agreement.

Note: In 2020, we had 144 important suppliers. Important suppliers accounted for 80% of total supplier spend.

Managing resources and waste

HL has invested extensive efforts in our operations to support the sustainable and effective management of resources through recycling, waste management and resource conservation. Our approach aims to optimise production efficiency while minimising our environmental footprints.

The positive results we have accomplished in recycling plastic and reducing water consumption is a testimony of the progress we are making in these areas.

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  • Use of recycled plastic almost doubled

    In 2020, we almost doubled the use of recycled plastic, from 3.5% in 2019 to 6.9%. We are actively exploring innovative ways to save resources and decrease the use of virgin materials, to reduce the environmental impact of our whole value chain. Finding recycled plastic can be a challenge due to the rise in demand in the marketplace. Going forward we are committed to increase our efforts to find new sources of recycled material.

  • Increased sourcing of recycled plastic

    Our own production waste is recycled to produce new products. In 2020, we successfully recycled 36% of our production waste, up from 26% in 2019, and we have made extensive efforts to source recycled plastic externally. Securing the right quality is a challenge. The material needs to fit the production processes and the quality of the product needs to meet customer expectations.

  • Decreasing water consumption by 15%

    Water usage is part of the production process when cooling extruded and injection-moulded plastic products. In 2020, our total water consumption decreased by 15%. To further address the need for water, our Sundsvall factory in Sweden built a well. This initiative has helped to reduce the supply of water needed from municipal sources, which decreased by 54%.

97% more recycled

plastic used 

80% more recycled

plastic sourced

54% less municipal

water used 

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Graphs_For web_2021_Watercosumption 3.png

Building the best workplace despite Covid-19


As Covid-19 dominated the headlines in 2020, and everyone around the world having to adjust their daily lifestyles and businesses to the impacts of the pandemic, HL too adapted swiftly to the demands of the situation.

We secured the safety of our employees which was the number one priority, while keeping the business running smoothly, and established safety measures across offices and production sites. We stepped up communications and invested in digital communications to provide regular townhalls, digital meetings and conferences, as well as an expanded e-learning platform.

In response to the out-break of Covid-19 and the needs of the pandemic, HL product portfolio widened to include protective screens and other safety solutions for stores and personnel. And to help essential workers, we donated face covers to the hospitals in Gliwice, Poland.

Despite the challenges of 2020, HL employees kept a positive attitude and stayed focused. We are delighted and proud that 90% of our team find their jobs engaging.