Submitted by: Ebony Hutt May 7, 2020
Two Sides’ member, Smurfit Kappa is making significant progress in reducing its relative CO2 emissions according to its 13th annual Sustainable Development Report (SDR) which was published today.
The leading provider of paper-based packaging, Smurfit Kappa reported a 32.9% reduction in fossil CO2 emission intensity between 2005 and 2019. While this is an impressive achievement, the company’s current target is even more ambitious as it seeks to reduce relative CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030, in comparison to the 2005 baseline.
Smurfit Kappa will also discuss its current CO2 reduction target with the Science Based Target (SBT) initiative to confirm that it is aligned with the Paris Agreement and the recommendations of the latest climate science findings.
In addition to seeking SBT validation, Smurfit Kappa is also looking to build on more than a decade of providing full CO2 disclosures by supporting the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures, a global body which develops climate-related financial risk disclosures which are used to provide information for investors, lenders and insurers.
The new SDR report, which is structured on the three strategic focus areas of People, Planet and Impactful Business, provides comprehensive detail on the contributing factors in the reduction of emissions. These include a strategic focus on energy efficiency and the use of renewable sources of fuel such as biomass.
There are a number of other achievements outlined in the SDR. Considerable progress was made in the area of safety with a 17% reduction in its Total Recordable Injury Rate. Smurfit Kappa also reached 92.1% for all packaging solutions sold as Chain of Custody certified, which is cast-iron assurance for customers of the sustainable origin of the raw material used. Further improvements in the quality of its discharged water were made with a 35% reduction of relative Chemical Oxygen Demand.
Other highlights for 2019 include the creation of a Board-appointed Sustainability Committee and €3.5m investment in social initiatives including children’s education and health.
Tony Smurfit, Group CEO, said: “We have been deemed an ‘essential business’ during the Covid-19 pandemic and at this challenging time, our immediate, primary focus is to protect our employees and meet our customers’ needs. I am immensely proud of how our 46,000 employees are playing their part to maintain vital supply chains during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Sustainability remains a key focus for us. Today’s report gives an insight into how it continues to underpin our all business operations and outlines the progress we are making in the areas of environmental, social and governance criteria.”
Steven Stoffer, Group VP Development at Smurfit Kappa, added: “During these uncertain times we will continue to focus on our sustainability offering, not only to customers, but also on where we can make a tangible difference in the communities in which we operate.
“For Smurfit Kappa, sustainability is more than mitigating climate change and minimising environmental impact by our operations; the Sustainable Development Report also demonstrates how we are using our scale, experience and expertise to help deliver solutions to a broad range of global issues including inclusion and diversity, safety and human rights.”
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 The SBT initiative was born from a collaboration between the UN Global Compact, WWF, CPD and World Resources Institute (WRI).