DS Smith pledges 100% sustainable packaging by 2025

By Rhys Handley, Wednesday 01 August 2018

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DS Smith has thrown down the gauntlet in the sustainability arena by pledging to manufacture 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025.

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Ciechan: "The industry is always evolving, and we continue to invest in both our people and in leading technology"

In its 2018 sustainability review, the international packaging manufacturer made a number of eco-minded pledges to make its operations more sustainable in the near future.

Other targets set down in the review included using 100% recycled or chain-of-custody certified papers by 2020, ensuring all suppliers comply with DS Smith’s own sustainability standards by 2025 and reducing CO2 emissions by 30% per tonne of production by 2030.

“We’ve engaged a range of external stakeholders to identify and understand the areas where we feel that we can have the greatest impact, while also supporting customers with their own sustainability objectives,” said director of planning, performance management and sustainability Emma Ciechan.

“The industry is always evolving, and we continue to invest in both our people and in leading technology, so while there will be changes they are embedded in our operations as part of our drive to be the leading supplier of sustainable packaging.

“Clients can expect things to carry on as they are currently in many ways as we pride ourselves on working with our customers and challenging our designers to create the best packaging to reduce costs, increase sales and manage risk.”

Ciechan pointed to DS Smith’s continued investment in leading and sustainable technology, such as the pioneering installation of HP PageWide T1100S web presses across a number of its bases, as examples of allowing the company’s capabilities and its sustainability to develop alongside each other.

DS Smith’s report was followed up with a pledge to spend the next 12 months establishing action plans and gathering data to facilitate its targets, with another report on its progress to be published in a year’s time.

According to the report, 71% of DS Smith’s pre-existing commitments are now completed or currently on track, including 95% FSC certification across its sites and its growing network of PackRight and Impact centres which work with customers to design packaging that removes excess materials and optimises logistics.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in much broader sustainability considerations, and in recent months we have seen a real surge in legislative and media interest in sustainable packaging solutions,” said Ciechan.

“We are excited about the opportunities that exist to use corrugated packaging to help make supply chains more efficient, reduce waste and provide brands and consumers with packaging that is not only recyclable in theory, but recycled in practice.”

A London-headquartered PLC, last month, DS Smith reported a 21% boost in annual profit to £473m. With bases across the world, the £5.7bn-turnover company employs 28,500 people.

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