Smurfit Kappa reports strong progress in its 8th annual Sustainable Development Report

Smurfit Kappa today reiterates its relentless commitment to delivering business value through sustainability across all areas of its operations with its 8th annual Sustainable Development Report.

The report, “Sustainability in every fibre” highlights Smurfit Kappa’s focus on designing and enabling truly circular systems, with a unique commitment to use only 100% sustainably sourced fibres in its products and processes. Full transparency is assured through adherence to the GRI 4 Comprehensive sustainability guidelines. Progress made in 2014 against the five newly defined strategic sustainability priorities includes:

  • Forest -  All raw material used in paper production is now sourced under certified Chain of Custody systems 
  • Climate Change - 21.6% reduction in carbon emissions per tonne of paper produced, on track for 2020 target of 25% reduction 
  • Water - 28% reduction in organic content of water (COD) returned to the environment from mills, on track for 2020 target of 33% reduction 
  • Waste -  Twelve out of 38 paper mills effectively did not send waste to landfill in 2014 
  • People - 80% response rate to the first company-wide employee engagement survey, MyVoice2014 

Commenting on the strong performance outlined in the report, Gary McGann, Group Chief Executive Officer at Smurfit Kappa said:

“We are proud to say that our people and products have sustainability in every fibre. We use it as a lens through which to focus our innovation, our strategy and our processes.”

Group Chief Operating Officer, Tony Smurfit, continued:

“This approach has delivered consistent business growth and long-term partnerships with some of the world’s most respected brands. Every day, we prove how our way of working contributes to a better, more sustainable world and a brighter future.”

The report provides a comprehensive update on Smurfit Kappa’s performance against its five strategic priority areas:

Expanding sustainable sourcing and responsible forestry

In 2014 Smurfit Kappa effectively completed its Chain of Custody certification, enabling it to deliver FSC® certified packaging to customers as standard. All raw material used in paper production is now sourced under certified Chain of Custody systems, with more than 97% of packaging and 92% of converting operations certified according to FSC and/or PEFCTM.*

Reducing carbon emissions and increasing renewable power

A new target for relative CO2 emissions was introduced in May 2014 after Smurfit Kappa achieved its original target of a reduction of 20% by 2020 compared to 2005. The new target is to reduce relative CO2 emissions for the mill system by 25% by 2020 compared to 2005. Relative reduction of fossil CO2 emissions in 2014 was 1.2% compared to 2013, and now stands at -21.6% compared to the 2005 benchmark.

Smurfit Kappa also gives customers transparency on the carbon impacts of its packaging. For this reason the ‘Innotools’ suite of design software has been equipped with the ability to measure the carbon footprint of individual packaging products since 2011. Now the company has added a new option to Innotools which allows customers to track reductions in the carbon footprint of their packaging over the years.

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, and has now achieved a 28% reduction against that benchmark.

Ongoing investment in water treatment plants enables Smurfit Kappa to be more efficient in cleaning used water, resulting in more efficient water use and reuse throughout production.

In addition, Smurfit Kappa is implementing water risk assessments at all paper and board mills that will enable more specific targets on water and individual improvement plans for each mill.

Reducing waste to landfill

Twelve out of Smurfit Kappa’s 38 paper mills effectively did not send waste to landfill in 2014. Smurfit Kappa has also launched a waste to landfill assessment project to map opportunities to reduce waste throughout its operations, enabling specific waste reduction targets.


Smurfit Kappa’s most important asset is its people. The first ever company-wide employee engagement survey, MyVoice2014, gave all employees the opportunity to give their view on their personal working experience. This experience was well received as evidenced by a response rate of 80%. This provides a strong platform to continue making Smurfit Kappa a great place to work.


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.

To find out more about Open the future visit openthefuture.info

Smurfit Kappa’s 2014 Sustainable Development Report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines (GRI) 4 Comprehensive level of disclosure.