DS Smith hits key sustainability milestones

DS Smith, a global sustainable packaging leader, today announced it has hit seven of its key sustainability milestones – including meeting targets on the circular economy, forest management, community engagement and water management. 

The company’s 2021 Sustainability Report revealed that over the last year, it had trained all 700 designers on the circular economy – enabling them to build circular design principles into hundreds of thousands of packaging designs for customers.

All of DS Smith’s forests achieved forest management certification and the company maintained its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for all of its sites, meeting the highest sustainable forestry standards on the market.

Every DS Smith site with more than 50 employees engaged in activities to support the local community, while plans to reduce, reuse and recycle water were implemented at 25 of the company sites at risk of water stress, supported by regular water performance reviews.

The report revealed DS Smith achieved its target to source 100% recycled or chain of custody certified papers and ensured all sites accounting for 90% of its energy consumption were ISO 50001 certified. This globally recognized standard enables a coordinated approach for monitoring progress against targets.

“As we continue to tackle the challenges facing our communities and the environment, achieving a number of our key targets, including forest management, community engagement and designing for a circular economy, shows great progress,” said Keith Ledbetter, managing director of DS Smith North America Packaging and Paper. “By placing sustainability at the heart of all we do, we will continue to reduce our impact on the environment while creating innovative solutions that meet the needs of our customers.”

The 2021 Sustainability Report is the company’s first progress update since launching its “Now and Next” sustainability strategy in September of last year. The report also showed that DS Smith:

  • Reduced carbon emissions by 23% per ton of production compared to 2015 and by 4% per ton of production compared to last year – supporting the company’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
  • Installed 36,672 LED lamps at 96 sites around the world, saving more than 15,400 tons of CO2 a year – an additional nine sites are under review which could increase the number of LED lamps to around 40,000.
  • Launched 57 biodiversity projects in local communities over the past year – a further 47 biodiversity projects are being considered, from wildflower meadows and community gardens to bug hotels and ponds, putting it on track to reach 100 projects across Europe and North America by 2025. 
  • Achieved an ‘AA’ MSCI score, compared to ‘A’ last year as measured by third party ESG ratings agencies – the highest grade achieved by any industry peers. Additionally secured an ‘A-‘ in Circulytics, the most comprehensive circular economy performance measurement tool, as developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, compared to ‘B+’ last year.

About DS Smith

DS Smith is a leading provider of sustainable fiber-based packaging worldwide, which is supported by recycling and papermaking operations. It plays a central role in the value chain across sectors including e-commerce, fast moving consumer goods and industrials. Through its purpose of ‘Redefining Packaging for a Changing World’ and its Now and Next sustainability strategy, DS Smith is committed to leading the transition to the circular economy, while delivering more circular solutions for its customers and wider society – replacing problem plastics, taking carbon out of supply chains and providing innovative recycling solutions. Its bespoke box-to-box in 14 days model, design capabilities and innovation strategy sits at the heart of this response. Headquartered in London and a member of the FTSE 100, DS Smith operates in 34 countries employing around 30,000 people and is a Strategic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Its history can be traced back to the box-making businesses started in the 1940s by the Smith family. 

North American operations are headquartered in Atlanta, with 13 manufacturing, paper and recycling facilities, totaling more than 2,000 employees. Using the combined expertise of its divisions – including Packaging, Recycling, Paper – DS Smith works with customers to develop solutions that reduce complexity and deliver results throughout the supply chain.