DS Smith accelerates climate change strategy with 1.5°C temperature-alignment
21 Jan 2022 --- Paper packaging specialist DS Smith is announcing fresh commitments to align its global operations with the Paris Climate Agreement by further reducing its direct and indirect production emissions.
The roadmap to 1.5°C has been submitted for verification by the Science Based Targets initiative.
The self-set targets will keep the company – which is already a member of the UN’s Race to Zero initiative – in line with its prior commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Our business has ambitious growth plans over the coming years as we lead the transition to a circular economy,” says Miles Roberts, group chief executive at DS Smith.
Next-gen engineering solutions
To comply with the 1.5°C operations alignment, the company is accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions for its own operations, as well as those of its partners and suppliers, by committing to reducing its Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 46% on an “absolute basis” by 2030, compared to 2019 levels.
Roberts says: “This commitment not only ensures our business is leading the way in reducing our carbon footprint but also guarantees we are challenging our suppliers and partners to do the same.”
The company asserts it will invest consistently in its operations throughout the coming 28 years.
More precisely, the investment will be made into the adoption of next-generation engineering solutions, such as biomethane boiler technology. DS Smith will also harness self-generated renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and power purchasing agreements to replace grid electricity.
The e-commerce packaging supplier also plans to engage with and encourage all of its strategic suppliers to adopt science-based targets by 2027.
This plan follows feedback from stakeholders, who are seeking to work with like-minded businesses committed to science-based targets and net-zero, alongside a commitment to the circular economy.
“As part of this approach, we will work closely with partners, suppliers, customers and policymakers to collectively tackle climate change through the circular economy in line with our ambitious goals,” says Roberts.
The company calls the delivery of these commitments “an ambitious net-zero transition plan,” which will set out the “key strategic actions” and “milestones” that will define DS Smith’s transition to net-zero.
The plan, which is expected to be published this summer, is aligned with the company’s growth strategy and outlines the initiatives that will be undertaken, prioritizing the “greatest sources” of GHG emissions.
Last year, PackagingInsights discussed the impact of faulty and insufficient packaging designs with DS Smith. Its research, conducted through polling company OnePoll, suggested the number of broken packages consumers could expect to receive last year on Black Friday could fill 3,975 Olympic-sized pools.
In its ambition to become more environmentally friendly, DS Smith has also investigated algae alternatives to wood fiber and plastic coatings.
By Natalie Schwertheim
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