DS Smith hits key sustainability milestones

DS Smith says it has hit seven of its key sustainability milestones – including meeting targets on the circular economy, forest management, community engagement and water.

The company’s Sustainability Report 2021 revealed that over the last year it had trained all 700 designers on the circular economy – enabling them to build circular design principles into hundreds of thousands of packaging designs for customers.

All of the company’s forests had achieved forest management certification and it maintained Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for all of its sites, meeting the highest sustainable forestry standards on the market.

Every DS Smith site with more than 50 employees had been engaged in a programme of activities to support the local community, while plans to reduce, reuse and recycle water were implemented at 25 of the company’s sites at risk of water stress, supported by regular water performance reviews.

The report revealed the company had achieved its target to source 100% recycled or chain of custody certified papers and it had also ensured all sites accounting for 90% of its energy consumption were ISO 50001 certified. This globally recognised standard enables a coordinated approach for monitoring progress against targets.

The Sustainability Report 2021 is the company’s first progress update since launching its Now and Next sustainability strategy in September last year. The report also showed that DS Smith had:

  • Reduced carbon emissions by 23% per tonne of production compared to 2015 and by 4% per tonne of production compared to last year – supporting the company’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050;
  • Installed 36,672 LED lamps at 96 sites around the world, saving around 14,000 tonnes of CO2 a year – an additional nine sites are under review which could increase the number of LED lamps to around 40,000;
  • Launched 57 biodiversity projects in its local communities over the past year – a further 47 biodiversity projects are being considered from wildflower meadows and community gardens to bug hotels and ponds, putting it on track to reach 100 projects across Europe and North America by 2025;
  • Achieved an ‘AA’ MSCI score compared to ‘A’ last year as measured by third party ESG ratings agencies – the highest grade achieved by any industry peers – and also secured an ‘A-‘ in Circulytics, the most comprehensive circular economy performance measurement tool, as developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, compared to ‘B+’ last year.

Wouter van Tol, Head of Sustainability, Community and Government Affairs for DS Smith, said, “Our 2021 Sustainability Report provides an important update on our progress in achieving our ambitious sustainability goals over the last year. I am pleased we have met a number of our key targets including those on forest management, community engagement and training our designers on the circular economy. By redefining packaging and placing sustainability at the heart of all we do, we can reduce our impact on the environment while creating innovative design solutions that meet the needs of our customers.”

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