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How does a manufacturing giant embrace zero waste?

​4 October 2016


BusinessGreen, a leading source of news for sustainability executives, visits Smurfit Kappa Roermond Mill, where it has closed the resource loop and created additional income streams

The article below was published by Business Green on 29 Sept 2016

There aren't many global businesses which can justifiably claim their operations produce no waste whatsoever - i.e. that all unwanted resources are reused, recycled or used to produce energy, if not avoided altogether in the first place.

Earlier this year, confectionary company Mars claimed to have achieved the feat at all its global factories, while consumer goods giant Unilever has also recently announced 600 of its sites worldwide had stopped sending any waste to landfill, covering all of its operations in Europe. On top of the obvious environmental and reputational benefits, Unilever said cutting down on waste has helped contribute to cost savings of around €200m.

But although its lack of consumer brands make it far from a household name, another global, multi-billion dollar manufacturing behemoth is also setting impressive standards further up the supply chain in the race to drive down waste.

Based in Dublin but with operations spanning most of Europe and beyond, packaging giant Smurfit Kappa - which boasts major names such as P&G and Nestle as customers - is renowned within business and supply chain circles for its work on sustainability and closed loop systems.

The firm has been reporting to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for a decade and is also a member of both the UN Global Compact initiative and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

How does a manufacturing giant embrace zero waste?