Smurfit Kappa highlights 40% CO2 drop in 17 years in latest sustainability report
20 Apr 2022 --- Smurfit Kappa has achieved a 6% year-on-year drop in carbon emissions – over a 40% reduction since 2005 – according to its newly released Sustainable Development Report.
The 15th report released by the company details how actions taken across its supply chain has resulted in the emissions drop and claims that Smurfit Kappa is “well-positioned” to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.
Tony Smurfit, the group’s CEO, remarks: “This report highlights our continued leadership in [environmental] sustainability, and how it extends from our products and manufacturing into the local communities in which we operate.”
“Our circular business model helps us to address many of the challenges our stakeholders face. With continued focus on [environmental] sustainability and through close collaboration with our value chain partners, Smurfit Kappa can deliver an even greater social, economic and environmental impact.”
Highlights from the report include:
- Social projects received €4.9 million (US$5.3 million) in 2021.
- Reduction of 41.3% in fossil fuel emission intensity since 2005, or 6% year-on-year.
- Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) approval of its emission reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement.
- Reduction in water consumption of 6.2% year-on-year.
- Decrease in waste to landfill intensity of 29.2% since 2013, or 7% year-on-year.
The report describes 2021 as a “landmark year” in the company’s history of environmental efforts:
- In March, Smurfit Kappa became the first FTSE 100 company to be awarded 5 stars by “Support the Goals” in recognition of the group’s support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
- In September, the group launched its Green Finance Framework, which was accompanied by a “very strong” second party opinion with its product and circular business model being reported as a “significant contributor” to UN SDG 12 “Responsible consumption and production.”
- In September, Smurfit Kappa launched its inaugural green bond, which was oversubscribed multiple times and secured the lowest ever coupon for a corporate issuer of its credit rating, along with strong participation from “dark green” investors.
- In December, Smurfit Kappa had its emissions reduction targets validated by the SBTi as consistent with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and well below 2°C. This validation is further evidence of its long-term ambition coupled with delivery today.
Smurfit Kappa attributes many of these achievements to investments it made to ensure the delivery of its long-term goals. One such example highlighted in 2021 was an investment of €11.5 million (US$12.47 million) into a multi-fuel boiler at Smurfit Kappa’s Zülpich paper mill, which provides a more environmentally sustainable fuel source for generating steam and electricity.
The investment will remove 55,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from 2022 onwards, delivering a 25% reduction of carbon emissions at the mill.
Smurfit on the rise
Earlier this year, Smurfit Kappa invested US$33 million in expanding its Fortaleza production site in the state capital of Ceará in Northeastern Brazil. The corrugated packaging company identifies Brazil as an essential market for its continued growth.
The investment will expand capacity and innovation capability at the production site to meet the growing demand for innovative and environmentally sustainable packaging.
In NPD, the company also developed new packaging for fast food by partnering with independent packaging consultant Juozas Baranauskas to create the Twin Kraft Grease Guard MB12 packaging solution for Lithuanian fast-food restaurant Fresh Post.
By Louis Gore-Langton
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