DS Smith accelerates carbon reduction plans

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, January 21, 2022

DS Smith has outlined a commitment to align its global operations to a 1.5°C scenario, as set out in the Paris Climate Agreement.

Roberts: "These commitments are a crucial part of our Now and Next sustainability strategy"
Roberts: "These commitments are a crucial part of our Now and Next sustainability strategy"

The roadmap to 1.5°C has been submitted for verification by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which engages and supports companies in defining how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

To achieve the target, the London-headquartered packaging giant 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 Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 46% on an absolute basis by 2030, compared to 2019 levels.

These targets will keep DS Smith, which is a member of the UN’s Race to Zero initiative, in line with its prior commitment to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Group chief executive Miles Roberts said: “Today’s announcement demonstrates our ambition in reducing carbon as part of our long-term sustainability focus. 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.

“Our business has ambitious growth plans over the coming years as we lead the transition to a circular economy and these commitments are a crucial part of our Now and Next sustainability strategy which will see us create a positive impact for people and the planet both now and in the future.”

To deliver on this commitment, DS Smith said it will invest consistently over the next 28 years in its own operations.

“Investment will be made into the adoption of next generation engineering solutions, such as biomethane boiler technology. The company will also harness self-generated renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and power purchasing agreements to replace grid electricity,” the business stated.

DS Smith said it will also engage with all of its strategic suppliers to encourage them to adopt science-based targets by 2027. This 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, DS Smith will work closely with partners, suppliers, customers, and policymakers to collectively tackle climate change through the circular economy in line with DS Smith’s goals.

Supporting the delivery of these commitments is a 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 will be published this summer, is aligned with the group’s growth strategy and outlines the initiatives that will be undertaken, prioritising the greatest sources of GHG emissions.

Also updating on its trading since it issued its half-year results last month, DS Smith said its group performance “has remained in line with our expectations of delivering a significant improvement in profitability during the second half of this year and towards our medium-term targets”.

DS Smith’s share price climbed by 2.2% to 390.6p on the news.

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