The comprehensive report, which covers January to December 2022, highlights the company’s progress through continued capital investment, ongoing operational improvement, and collaboration with customers and other key stakeholders.
Last year, Smurfit Kappa delivered several landmark achievements, highlighting its continued leadership in sustainability, including:
- a world first in successfully trialling hydrogen in its Saillat paper mill, in France;
- completion of a multi-fuel boiler in the Zülpich paper mill, in Germany, which reduced emissions at the mill by 25%;
- the announcement of the group’s largest decarbonisation project – in Cali, Colombia – involving an investment of almost €100 million; and
- commencement of a district-heating project in Austria, to benefit 20,000 homes across three communities.
Commenting on the release of the report, Tony Smurfit, group CEO, said, “I am pleased that we have continued to deliver on our sustainability strategy – not just because of what we achieved in 2022, but because of our planning and actions, which extend beyond the short term.
“Smurfit Kappa’s purpose – to create, protect and care – continues to drive the changes needed to nurture a greener and bluer planet.
“Some of the significant sustainability achievements detailed in our latest SDR have included collaborative projects with participants from across our value chain – a truly open and progressive approach to solving the major challenges facing society.”
Better Planet 2050
The recent report also shows the measurable progress that Smurfit Kappa has delivered during 2022 against all its Better Planet 2050 sustainability targets, including:
- a 43.9% reduction in CO2 emissions since 2005, and 4% in 2022 alone;
- a 2.1% reduction in water consumption;
- a 24% reduction in waste-to-landfill intensity since 2013;
- packaging solutions sold as chain of custody certified at 94.3%;
- a 13.6% reduction in the total recordable injury rate;
- management positions held by women at 23.5% – up from 22% in 2021; and
- social investments of €18.4 million, made since 2020.
The packaging firm noted that, in the past six months, there has been additional recognition of the company’s sustainability credentials.
Smurfit Kappa received two top-rated badges from Morningstar Sustainalytics, for both regional and industry outperformance. These improved ratings build on the improved CDP (a global disclosure system for investors) climate rating of A – achieved in 2022 – and the category-leading MSCI AA rating.
Garrett Quinn, chief sustainability officer at Smurfit Kappa, added, “The value and importance of transparency in reporting on sustainability continues to grow. Earlier this month, Smurfit Kappa issued a report, together with the Financial Times, that found – while the corporate world has a lot of ambition and commitments – open, assured reporting and delivery is often lacking.
“For 16 years, Smurfit Kappa has produced a comprehensive sustainability development report that has been third-party assured since 2009.
“In a world increasingly concerned with greenwashing, we hope this history of public, assured reporting, coupled with our continued delivery each year, gives all our stakeholders confidence in the group’s sustainability strategy and delivery against its commitments.”