Smurfit Kappa has been building a sustainable future for a long time but ten years ago the packaging giant started formally measuring its sustainability impact.
Through the company’s sustainability vision, it has sought to transform the paper-based packaging industry by focusing on five priority areas (Forest, Climate Change, Water, Waste and People). Its annual Sustainability Development Report outlines how it has performed in each area.
This year’s report made for uplifting reading with several milestones being reached during the last ten years including reaching full Chain of Custody certification for its entire raw material supply chain. This gives customers full assurance and traceability for their packaging and also helps them to meet their own environmental and sustainability targets.
Smurfit Kappa is also celebrating over ten years of investment in social and scientific projects. Over €30 million has been invested in projects ranging from providing improved facilities and play therapy at a school for children with disabilities in Italy, to working with Colombian universities to study and protect the flora and fauna in the company’s forests.
In line with the company’s aim of supporting the communities in which it operates, since 2012, Smurfit Kappa News Press in Kells, Co Meath has partnered with secondary school O’Carolan College, Nobber, Co Meath for the Skills@Work Programme, an initiative of Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI). In 2017, the company developed further links with the community by participating in BITCI’s Management Excellence for Teachers Programme with Beaufort College, Navan, Co Meath.
Over the past ten years, Smurfit Kappa has cut CO₂ emissions by 23% and the quality of its discharge water improved by 32%, both on track for its ambitious 2020 target of 25% and 33% respectively.
At the same time, the packaging giant has also achieved a significant reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill and has invested €60 million in water treatment plants.
Steven Stoffer, Group Vice President of Development, with responsibility for sustainability within Smurfit Kappa, said: “Compared to other packaging materials, paper is the most sustainable, therefore sustainability is within the very DNA of our company. For many years we have focused on designing our operations around a circular economy model – a truly closed loop system in which the productivity of the resources we use is maximised and waste is minimised.
“We’re proud of the progress we’ve made over the past decade, and very pleased to be on track to meet our 2020 sustainability goals.”
Smurfit Kappa has also been recognised externally through listings on the STOXX Global ESG Leaders index, FTSE4Good, Euronext Vigeo 120 Europe and the Ethibel sustainable investment register. The company also was granted a Gold Recognition Level EcoVadis CSR rating in July.
You can see some of the CSR work carried out by Smurfit Kappa during the last ten years brought to life in this video.
Smurfit Kappa is a member of Business in the Community Ireland. Since 2012, Smurfit Kappa News Press in Kells, Co Meath has partnered with secondary school O’Carolan College, Nobber, Co Meath for the Skills@Work Programme under our Business Action on Education initiative.In 2017, the company has developed further links with the community by participating in the Management Excellence for Teachers Programme with Beaufort College, Navan, Co Meath.
In the photo above Collette Traynor, Health & Safety Manager, Smurfit Kappa News Press receives a cake baked by a student in gratitude for an inspirational talk she gave to the students on Health & Safety.
Each year, Business in the Community Ireland writes an External Commentary for inclusion in the Smurfit Kappa Group Annual Sustainable Development Report.
Smurfit Kappa’s 2016 Sustainable Development Report can be found here.