7 April 2014
Smurfit Kappa has been featured in the '20 most sustainable companies in Colombia' published by sustainability publication 'Semana Sostenible'.
The article reads as follows:
By managing its raw materials responsibly, Smurfit Kappa Cartón de Colombia establishes a link between the forest and the consumer.
Human beings depend on forests to live. They filter the water we drink and the air we breathe, they are also the planet´s thermometer and the natural habitat of countless species in the world. Unfortunately forests are also one of the most threatened resources in the past decades. Deforestation and the destruction of forests is the second cause of pollution from carbon dioxide and is accountable for 20% of the Greenhouse gases. (GHG).
Hence the importance of the lessons from the past learned by a company that extracts its raw materials from forests. Their strategy to ensure a sustainable source of lumber to produce pulp, paper and carton competitively, is based on planting, managing and harvesting plantations on land suitable for forestry, owned by them or by their partners. Besides the above, the Company´s priorities in the process are the protection of biodiversity, of the rights of natives, of it´s group of employees, and of the areas that have a significant environmental or cultural importance.
Smurfit Kappa Cartón de Colombia´s story began in 1944 when the European multinational set its eyes on the national territory. Since then, this company has consolidated itself as a leader in the sector, undertaking programs that reveal its corporate objectives, many of which are related to reducing the environmental impact.
The source of fiber used by the Company has been FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified for the past ten years. It´s Sustainability Committee develops activities in order to guarantee that the business remains profitable, and at the same time, preserves the resources. For example, during the past five years, direct and indirect fossil CO2 emissions have been reduced by 9%. This has been possible by installing a limekiln that improved the industrial process that produces the pulp, and 42% of the company’s power demand is self-generated through biofuels.
Another one of objectives established by the Forestry Division and the Fundación Smurfit Carton de Colombia focuses on improving the standard of living of the communities. One of the most important projects has to do with the Technical Agriculture, Livestock and Forestry Institutes (ITAF in Spanish) that have been operating for 27 years in Darién (Valle), El Tambo and Cajibío (Cauca). In 2013 563 young people studied there, and 60 graduated from high school. Out of this group of sixty, six began their careers thanks to performance scholarships, and seven more entered higher education processes (five with student loans granted by ICETEX, and two with municipal scholarships from the City Hall of Cajibío). Their link with the company doesn’t necessarily end there. In fact, some of the graduates from the ITAF (seven at present) work directly with the Fundación or with Smurfit Kappa through contractors.