Smurfit Kappa Group sets out ambitious new sustainability targets

Sustainability

Smurfit Kappa Group plc (LON:SKG) has announced ambitious new sustainability targets in a number of different areas. 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. These targets build upon the company’s well-established 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. The targets identified are specific, measurable and provide a roadmap to deliver results in the short, medium and longer timeframes.

Smurfit Kappa is the undisputed industry leader in delivering Chain of Custody certified sustainable packaging solutions to its customers. The company will further increase its certified deliveries to customers to 95%, up from its current 90% 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.

As a large processor rather than a large consumer of water, the new target will see the company reduce its overall water intake. As a manufacturer of products that are renewable, recyclable, recycled and biodegradable, the company will continue to seek alternative ways to reuse, recycle and recover waste material to reduce waste to landfill. Last year, Smurfit Kappa set out 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, its stated ambition is to ensure female gender representation is above 30%. Finally, the company is also committing to donate over €24 million in the next five years to support community initiatives, building upon the extensive volunteer and community work done locally throughout the world.

By committing to these sustainability targets, the company’s Better Planet Packaging portfolio of sustainable products will continue to be produced using less resource, less energy and create less waste. In providing and developing innovative paper-based packaging solutions, reducing its impact on the planet, Smurfit Kappa can make a positive contribution to the world and help its customers to deliver on their own short and long term sustainability goals.

Finally, the company 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 Revolving Credit Facility, creating a Sustainability Linked RCF.

A summary of main sustainability targets are outlined below.

Strategic AreaExisting TargetNew TargetTimeframe
CO2 Emissions40% reduction in fossil CO2 emissions in our global paper and board mill system55% intensity reduction in fossil CO2 emissions in our global paper and board mill systemBy 2030
CO2 EmissionsNewReach at least net zero fossil emissionsBy 2050
Chain of Custody>90% of deliveries to customers are Chain of Custody Certified>95% of deliveries to customers are Chain of Custody CertifiedBy 2025
Water IntakeNewAt least 1% intensity reduction of water intake by our global paper and board mill systemAnnual
Inclusion & DiversityNewCreate a diverse workplace and ensure that female gender representation across the Group is above 30%Ongoing
Inclusion & DiversityNew25% Females holding management positions across the Group which is a 2% annual increase for the next three yearsUntil 2024
Community & Social ResponsibilityNew[1]Between 2020-2025 we will donate over €24 million to support social, environmental and community initiativesBy 2025
Strategic AreaExisting TargetCurrent Status[2]Timeframe
Water Quality60% intensity reduction of COD content of water returned to the environment from our global paper and board mill system35% COD reduction achieved to dateBy 2025
Waste30% intensity reduction in waste sent to landfill by our global paper and board mill system7% reduction achievedBy 2025
Health & SafetyReduce Total Recordable Injury Rate by at least 5%Achieved reductions of well over 5% per year since 2017 (starting year)Annual

Smurfit Kappa Group CEO, Tony Smurfit said: “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 behaviours that will deliver better outcomes.”

Tony Smurfit continued, “We recognise 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.”

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