Sustainability case study: As a large multinational group, Smurfit Kappa touches the lives of many people: not only shareholders, employees, customers and suppliers, but also local communities in which Smurfit Kappa has the privilege to operate. That brings with it responsibility to society.
Smurfit Kappa acknowledges that responsibility and has set up an independent foundation with charitable status to invest in Corporate Social Responsibility activities. This initiative is in addition to other activities at country and local level where we have many long-standing programmes in place.
The Smurfit Kappa Group Foundation was brought to life in February 2011 when the Board decided to donate a total of €3 million over the following three years. It was stipulated that €500,000 could be invested in Corporate Social Responsibility activities each year. The other half would be invested to finance future CSR activities. At the end of the third year Smurfit Kappa will review the activities of the Foundation and decide whether to invest further.
Smurfit Kappa is committed to act as a good corporate social citizen. These values underline that good social citizenship, reflected in the manner in which it interacts with its employees, business partners and local communities, is an essential ingredient in creating and maintaining a sustainable future. Many Smurfit Kappa companies are already involved in community-based activities. The Foundation fills a gap in terms of what might reasonably be expected of a company of Smurfit Kappa’s size and its ability to contribute to sustainable community development on an international basis.
The Foundation was set up to invest in and support appropriate sustainable projects with implementation by the local operating units. The funding should address, in particular, the millennium goals of the United Nations. Activities will focus initially on projects involving young disadvantaged children in the areas of health/nutrition, basic care and early education. The Foundation aims to support projects which are capable of becoming self-sufficient in the long term, thus educating people in practical ways to assume responsibility for their own issues over time.
Brendan Tuohy, external Board member of the Smurfit Kappa Group Foundation, and a former Secretary-General of the Irish Government’s Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, states: “The creation of the Foundation is strong evidence of Smurfit Kappa’s clear commitment to the local communities in the countries where it operates and, as a leading Irish multinational group, a recognition of the important role that it must play in the field of corporate social responsibility.”