DS Smith strengthens ‘Now & Next’ sustainability strategy

DS Smith has raised the ambitions of its Now & Next Sustainability Strategy to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, Circular Economy.

Partnering with its customers, DS Smith has already replaced 762m problem plastics with fibre-based alternatives since 2020, and created more than 30,000 circular-ready projects through its industry-leading Circular Design Metrics.

In tandem, and in line with its goals to decarbonise, this year DS Smith reduced CO2 emissions by 10% (15% compared to 2019), as well as achieving a 4% reduction in water abstraction within paper mills in areas at risk of water stress.  Since Now & Next launched, the business has met nine of its 26 targets, with an additional three targets tracking ahead of schedule.

Reinforcing these achievements to meet the challenges set by the changing world around us, the business has now raised its ambition with a set of focused targets, to accelerate progress. Created with independent experts, the new Now & Next commitments will prioritise circularity, accelerate the journey to Net Zero, and strengthen the business’ focus on people & communities, and nature.

Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive, commented, “We have made good progress with our Now & Next Sustainability Strategy, but the world around us demands that we all do more. That is why we are taking action today to ensure our commitments deliver at pace in a rapidly changing world, and accelerate our transition to a low carbon, circular, economy.”

Driven by the DS Smith Purpose of Redefining Packaging for a Changing World, key developments to the Now & Next sustainability strategy and targets, are:


  • By 2025, test up to 5 reuse pilots and continue to manufacture 100% recyclable and reusable packaging.


  • By 2030, reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 46% compared to 2019/20.
  • By 2027, encourage 100% of our strategic suppliers (representing 76% of purchased goods and services emissions) to set their own science-based targets.
  • By 2050, reach Net Zero GHG emissions.

People & Communities

  • By 2030, engage ten million (an increase from five million) people on the Circular Economy and circular lifestyles.
  • By 2025, inclusive leadership workshops completed by all leadership teams across all sites.
  • By 2030, improve gender diversity towards 40% women in senior leadership and set an aspiration of other protected characteristics.
  • Strive to achieve Vision Zero – zero accidents, and ultimately, zero harm.


  • By 2025, measure and improve biodiversity in our own forests and assess our dependencies on nature.
  • Set targets to regenerate nature taking a science-based approach.
  • By 2030, 10% reduction in water-withdrawal intensity at mills at risk of water stress compared to 2019.

Roberts concluded, “To address climate change, it is critical we adopt low carbon, renewable, energy sources. But we must also address how we make and use things in our everyday lives, by moving to the Circular Economy. Through our Circular Design Principles, we already act as the gateway to the circular economy for our customers, helping some of the world’s most recognisable FMCG brands meet their sustainability goals, alongside our own.”

Join our Newsletter

Sign up to our weekly newsletters for updates on articles, interviews and events

Sign up