Procter & Gamble Service GmbH
Project Contact Name:
Mrs. Cagda Biasutti
Start Date:01/07/2014
End Date:31/12/2018
Project Number:LIFE13ENV/DE/001131
Project Title:A novel and highly sustainable feminine pad product
Total Project Budget:€ 2.840.897
EU Financial Contribution:€ 1.420.448

Project Background

The LIFE+ CELSTAB (CELlulose SusTainable ABsorbency) project aims to improve feminine hygiene (FemCare) menstrual pads throughout the product lifecycle by using less raw material, while at the same time being able to absorb more fluid for optimum protection.

less material

less waste

less greenhouse gas

Key CELSTAB project objectives are to demonstrate an innovative multilayer absorbent technology to reduce the total material usage (10-25%) of multilayered absorbent feminine hygiene products, introducing innovative cellulose materials and reducing 10-15% T/km transport. 

The clear goal: We want to achieve more with less.

This also includes sourcing raw materials as locally as possible, which reduces pollutant emissions from transport. Another goal is to accelerate the development of new products with a design based more strongly on sustainability criteria.

With the CELSTAB project, P&G is breaking new ground in upstream technology development. The initial phases of the project have already shown the great potential of networked research, collaborating with partners in the raw material supply chain. CELSTAB shows that sustainability is the right thing to do.

Project Overview

  • – Develop new absorbent structure for use in P&G menstrual pad to meet consumer product and quality needs
  • – Demonstrate feasibility to upscale and integrate new processes at industrial scale and speed
  • – Project timeline: July 1st 2014 – Dec 31st  2018
  • – Budget: €2.8 million, 50% funded by EU

Environmental targets:

    • – 15-25% material use reduction
    • – 15-25% overall waste prevention
    • – 10-15% greenhouse gas reduction


Multilayer structure optimizes menstrual pad’s functions while saving material and simplifying supply chain complexity. This leads to secondary benefits such as less packaging, transport and waste avoidance.

Key Deliverables & Outputs

Life Cycle Assessment has been completed for the various menstrual pad design options and analysis of the main drivers for the calculated benefits for reduced resource use and emissions. LCA shows that production of the raw materials for menstrual pads is the single most important driver for all relevant environmental indicators.

Several iterations on material design is made based on sustainability assessment of a design space. Several scenarios are built that account for all material parameter choices; basis weight, material composition and dimensions. Final design is defined depending on Performance, Consumer evaluation, Cost, Technical feasibility, Sustainability.

Figure on the right, summarizes the achievements: Current design options achieve the material use and waste prevention reduction goals and exceed the goal on greenhouse gas emissions. This is achieved by redesigning the pad’s raw materials and optimizing the supply chain, while not compromising on performance and consumer acceptance.

In more detailed, sustainability design space defined by 6 scenarios in a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

Objective 1:

The material use reduction target 10-25% is achieved for all new design absorption system options. On an annual basis, this is on average a 12,000 tons material saving.

Objective 2:

The waste prevention target 15-25% is achieved for all options vs current. On an annual basis, this is on average a 14,000 tons waste saving which is led by the mass reduction of overall feedstocks in the product vs reference.

Objective 3:

GHG emissions target 10-15% is exceeded with reductions in the range of 20-30%. On an annual basis, this is on average a 45,000 tons GHG saving. The key driver is the localizing the feedstocks supply chain in EU.

Completed local European pulp resource screening. It is proven that local pulps can replace current U.S. resourced pulps, with equivalent fluid handling results. Annualized benefits from local supply are (averages from the design space):

  • – 1,200 tons saving of CO2
  • – 400 ton of oil equivalents
  • – 6 ton of particulate matter (fine dust)

After Life+ planned activities & Communication tools

The After Life + Communication Plan is laid down to guarantee the continuation of the dissemination of the CELSTAB results once the phase funded by the EU is completed. A set of activities specifically dedicated to this objective are here depicted for at least the next 5 years after the end of the project.

Action Planned Activity
Dissemination Material Distribution in digital format and made available through the project website.
Project Web Site Maintained and updated; public deliverable will be published and made available in pdf format. It will be linked to P&G’s official sustainability web site in 2019/20.
Information boards Several information boards located in the R&D facilities.
Participation in the events The project partners will continue to attend conferences, workshops and events (i.e. fairs).
Replication LIFE13ENV/DE/001131
Project Title: The project methodology will be re-applied in different business units in P&G to expand sustainability benefit across EU.
Marketing communication strategy Bringing CELSTAB technology in a successful product in the market.

Future dissemination activities

The objective of the dissemination of the CELSTAB project is to publicize the results obtained in order to promote the methodology of the project both nationally and internationally. The future actions detailed below will be carried out in accordance with the usual activity of P&G, with the active participation of a professional team. The time period in which these actions will be carried out depends on each one, but it can be estimated in a period of 1-5 years.

• Project website maintenance (

The website will remain active for a minimum period of five years after the project end. Through the website, it will be possible to continue having access to all the information related to the project. The content will be updated with new information related to environmental problems and future implementations of the evaluated solution.

• Distribution of dissemination material

The dissemination material of the project, mainly leaflets and the Layman’s Report, will be distributed in the different diffusion events, to different project stakeholders contacted by project partners. More copies will be printed if necessary. All the material is also digitally downloadable through the project website.

Information board
The information boards of the project will be kept in a visible place in the facilities of P&G R&D Center.

• Promotion of the project in the events

The partners will participate in the events of interest to promote and present the results obtained in the project both nationally and internationally. In these events, project dissemination material will be distributed. The main identified events are:
– EDANA International NW Symposium 2019- Austria
– SINCE (Shanghai International Nonwovens Exhibition) Dec’2019
– DNP & German Sustainability Congress 2020
– INDEX 2020 – Geneva
– IDEA 2019, 2022 – International Miami international trade show

• P&G Campus events at the following universities:
– Selected universities in Germany (Dresden, Stuttgart, Aachen, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Heidelberg), 2019, 2020
– University of Padova, Italy, 2019
– Cambridge & Imperial College, UK, 2019
– Universities in Belgium and Sweden will be investigated to add into the event list in 2019/2020.