Smurfit Kappa increases CO2 targets and closes the loop on water

Paper-based packaging company Smurfit Kappa' latest sustainability report has revealed an increased CO2 reduction target after existing targets were met six years ahead of schedule.

The original target, of a 20% reduction by 2020 compared with 2005 baseline, has been extended to 25% after the company announced it had already achieved a 21% reduction and a 6.5% reduction in fossil CO2 emissions per unit of production in 2013 alone. The initiatives have realised an absolute reduction in CO2 emissions of 929,000 tonnes since 2005.

Smurfit Kappa also reached its target of certifying 90% of its supply chain and manufacturing operations under ‘Chain of Custody’ (COC), which brings together regulations of the three major international forest certification bodies. COC guarantees that only sustainable fibres are used in Smurfit Kappa’s products and 91% of Smurfit Kappa’s virgin fibre-based products are now verified under COC.

Smurfit Kappa Group CEO Gary McGann said, “Having successfully met two key targets on Carbon Emissions and Chain of Custody certification well ahead of schedule, we are now intensifying our commitment to tackle climate change. We believe that sustainability is not only the right thing to do but a key driver of business success for both our customers and for Smurfit Kappa.”

In 2013 74% of all Smurfit Kappa’s fibrous raw materials came from recycled fibres, with the company using approximately 5.5 million tonnes of recovered paper each year. However, the report found that their production process results in large volumes of non-hazardous waste, 57% of which is currently sent to landfill. The company has announced it will now conduct a company-wide waste reduction assessment, to be completed by 2015

On water, the report shows some 98% of water used in the company’s paper and board mills is reused before being sent for treatment and discharge. One paper mill in Zülpich, Germany, is already operating a 100% closed loop water system.

When it cannot be reused, more than 90% of water used during the production processes is returned to water bodies in good condition. This represents a 25% improvement in water discharge quality since 2005 – a period in which €31m was invested in water treatment processes. The overall aim is to reduce content discharge in process water from its mills by one third by 2020 against the 2005 baseline.

Smurfit Kappa Sustainable Development Report

Matt Field

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