DS Smith has participated in the EPCI for the second time, demonstrating an on-going commitment to transparency on sustainable fibre sourcing, manufacturing performance and environmental management.
“We are proud to participate in the WWF EPCI for the second time. We are committed to continuously reducing the impacts of our business on the environment via continuous improvements and investments in our operations within a sustainable, renewable and circular business model,” said Henk Lingbeek, Director of Sustainability, Paper Division.
The Environmental Paper Company Index is a WWF tool to promote transparency and continualimprovement in the sector. It tracks a company’s ecological footprint over time.
DS Smith scored 71.7% of total achievable scores in the WWF EPCI 2017. Furthermore, for the second time since it started participating in the EPCI, DS Smith scored 100% of total achievable scores in the Responsible Fibre Sourcing subcategory.
While the company prioritises the use of recycled fibres through a circular business model, the finite recyclability of timber fibres means virgin fibres will always be required to top‑up the renewable corrugated system. Its work on responsible fibre sourcing this area focuses on:
- Supporting initiatives that promote forest management and chain‑of‑custody, by aiming for FSC® certification across 100% of the company’s in-scope operations by 2018;
- Ensuring, through traceable and transparent supply chains, that virgin fibres in its products originate from sustainably managed sources.
In the subcategory of Clean Manufacturing, DS Smith’s scores reduced from 59% (in 2015) to 50% (in 2017) of total achievable scores. “Our commitment to growth means that newly acquired businesses can sometimes have an impact on our environmental performance,” said Niels Flierman, Operations Director, Paper Division. “However, we make it our priority to work with these sites to embed our minimum standards of environmental management and improve their performance. It is a process of continuous improvement. Whether a site has been with us one year, or 30 years, it is an ongoing challenge as we work to ensure our minimum environmental, safety and ethical standards are met across the whole of our business. With sustainability and environmental impact high on our operational agenda, getting newly acquired businesses up to our current standards regarding sustainability has very high priority. I am delighted with the progress these new businesses have made to date, and that is testament to the effectiveness of new and existing colleagues working together. From Sourcing and Production, through to Waste Management and Energy Consumption, we are committing time and resource to ensure we continue to improve both our local and global footprints.”
In the third sub-category of Reporting and EMS, DS Smith improved significantly from scoring 55% (in 2015) to 63% (in 2017) of total achievable scores. This represents the company’s continuous drive for transparency in sustainability reporting. “We were pleased to be invited by WWF to participate in the EPCI again. This is an opportunity to assess ourselves against the rest of our industry, celebrate our achievements and revisit the areas where we have not made as much progress as we wanted to,” concluded Sam Jones, Sustainability Manager.