Progress made in 2015 against the five strategic sustainability priorities include:
“We view sustainability as an important element of a responsible business culture, and we continue to prove how our way of working contributes to a better, more sustainable world and a brighter future.
“This approach has delivered consistent business growth and long-term partnerships with some of the world’s most respected brands as well as with local customers across the 34 countries from which we operate. We are pleased to have been recognised by investors through the inclusion in the FTSE4Good index and the Euronext Vigeo Europe 120 index and continue to work hard to achieve our ambitions in this area.”
Group VP Development, Steven Stoffer added: “Sustainability is a continuous journey and we can be proud that during 2015 we made progress in reaching the ambitious long-term sustainable development targets we have set ourselves. In 2015, we introduced a new target to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill from our paper and board mills by 30% by 2020. With this new target we completed the range of targets to be set for our five strategic sustainability areas”.
The report provides a comprehensive update on Smurfit Kappa’s performance against its five strategic priority areas:
Delivering Chain of Custody certified packaging solutions
Today, 99.9% of paper we produce and source for our packaging solutions is Chain of Custody certified under FSC®, PEFCTM or SFITM. The Chain of Custody systems tracks both wood and recovered paper material from its original source to the final packaging product, ensuring that the material contained in the packaging product can be traced back to its origin. In 2015, we achieved 100% production capacity with Chain of Custody certification for our paper and board production. This makes us the first paper-based packaging company with a global capacity to provide customers with full transparency, and a unique guarantee that the fibre we use for their packaging has a sustainable origin. We currently deliver over 81% of our packaging as certified.
Reducing carbon emissions and increasing renewable power
Compared to the Group’s 2005 benchmark, in 2015 there was a relative reduction of 22.6% fossil CO2 emissions per tonne of paper produced. We also improved the energy usage per tonne of paper produced at our paper and board mills by 10% between 2005 and 2015. The use of renewable energy as part of our energy mix increased during the same period from 37% to 45%.
Reducing impact on water
Smurfit Kappa is committed to reducing the organic content of water (COD) returned to the environment from its mills by one third by 2020 compared to 2005 levels. Having achieved a 29% reduction against that benchmark and we are well on our way to reach the target by 2020. Between 2005 and 2015 we have invested over €54 million in the development of our process water treatment plants to achieve this target and incrementally improve the cost efficiency of our mill systems in Europe and The Americas.
Reducing waste to landfill
In 2015, Smurfit Kappa introduced a new target to reduce waste sent to landfill from its paper and board mills by 30% by 2020 compared to the benchmark year of 2013, and have so far achieved a reduction of 13.8%. Most of the waste the Group sent to landfill in 2015 was plastic, wood, metals and other impurities received with the recovered paper that was used to produce our paper and board and which cannot be readily recycled. In a number of operations there are targeted programmes to reduce the amount of waste generated or programmes to seek opportunities to find alternative uses.
Engaging our people and contributing to communities
Further to the global employee survey ‘My Voice’ conducted in October 2014, more than 1,000 local actions are being implemented. In addition, there will be Company-wide actions with a focus on communication, recognition and career opportunities. In 2015, we have also made over €4 million in social investments to local community projects in the regions where our operations are located.
Click here to download the full Sustainable Development Report
Delivering business value for customers through sustainability is part of Smurfit Kappa’s Open the future strategy, which is committed to opening up opportunities with forward-thinking customers by relentlessly applying our experience, expertise and ingenuity.