Smurfit Kappa updates sustainability targets

The global paper-based packaging solutions provider adjusts some of its Better Planet 2050 commitments.

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January 26, 2021

Smurfit Kappa, a paper-based packaging solutions provider headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, has announced new sustainability targets in a number of different areas. The company says the new targets focus on a further reduction of its environmental footprint, increased support for the communities in which it operates and further enhancement to the lives of its employees.

According to a news release from Smurfit Kappa, these targets build upon the company’s sustainability record, on which it has been reporting since 2005, and are contained in the Better Planet 2050 commitments.  

Better Planet 2050 quantifies Smurfit Kappa’s continued commitment to sustainability, targeting environmental and social sustainability in areas where it believes it can have the greatest impact. These include delivering sustainable packaging to customers, reducing its environmental footprint in water usage, waste and carbon emissions and supporting its communities, promoting inclusion and diversity as well as health and safety. According to Smurfit Kappa, the targets identified are specific, measurable and provide a road map to deliver results in the short, medium and longer time frames. 

Smurfit Kappa Group CEO Tony Smurfit says, “Sustainability has always been part of our DNA but concerns about how we treat our planet, how we create a more inclusive world and support greater equality across our communities has never been so important. More needs to be done to address these global challenges. That is why we are setting new, more ambitious short-term targets and longer term goals. Better Planet 2050 quantifies our commitment to protect what we care about—our planet, our people and our business—through a set of ambitious goals that will drive actions and behaviors that will deliver better outcomes.” 

Smurfit Kappa says it plans to further increase its certified deliveries to customers to 95 percent, up from its current 90 percent target. Chain of custody-certified deliveries are essential in providing transparency and traceability to customers who have trust and confidence that our raw materials are sustainably sourced, the company states.  

As a large processor rather than a large consumer of water, the company plans to reduce its overall water intake with the updated target. As a manufacturer of products that are renewable, recyclable, recycled and biodegradable, the company says it will continue to seek alternative ways to reuse, recycle and recover waste material to reduce waste to landfill. In 2020, Smurfit Kappa says set its most ambitious target to date when it announced a goal to achieve at least net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Demonstrating Smurfit Kappa’s care for its people and support for communities in which it operates, the company is targeting a range of measures including a further annual reduction in its total recordable injury rate (TRIR). Separately and in addition, the company says its ambition is to ensure female gender representation is above 30 percent. Finally, Smurfit Kappa is committing to donate more than 24 million euros (or about $29 million) in the next five years to support community initiatives.

“We recognize that good social citizenship, shown in our interactions with employees, business partners and host communities, can improve lives. It is essential to creating a sustainable future for all,” Smurfit adds.

Additionally, Smurfit Kappa recently aligned its sustainability ambitions and targets into its financing by embedding its sustainability targets via key performance indicators into its existing 1.35 billion euros (or about $1.64 billion) revolving credit facility, creating a sustainability-linked revolving credit facility.