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Smurfit Kappa accelerates CO2 emissions reduction in 2020

Smurfit Kappa continues to make significant and tangible progress on achieving its sustainability targets according to its 14th Sustainable Development Report ("SDR"). It highlights the company’s long-standing objective to be an impactful business that drives change and nurtures a greener planet through the three key pillars of Planet, People, and Impactful Business. Furthermore, Smurfit Kappa’s end-to-end approach to sustainability is evident in its innovative products and processes that support customers and positively impact the entire value chain.

Compared with 2019, Smurfit Kappa made significant progress in reducing its fossil CO2 emission intensity. The Group is the first in its industry to have announced targeting at least net zero emissions by 2050 and, compared to its baseline year 2005, it reduced its emissions intensity by 37.3% by the end of 2020. The reduction in 2020 versus 2019 was 7% which is an acceleration compared with the previous year. The Group is well on its way to reach its intermediate 2030 target of 55% reduction, in line with the EU Green Deal objectives.

Compared with 2019, the Group also made continued progress during 2020 on a number of its other key sustainability targets:

  • Water discharge quality improved by 5%
  • Waste to landfill intensity decreased by 18%
  • Chain of Custody certified packaging deliveries to customers increased by 2%
  • Safety performance improved by 29%
  • Social projects received €7.7 million in donations, including €3 million in various COVID-related projects during the financial year.

Tony Smurfit, Group CEO, said: “During the pandemic, the importance of sustainability has become even clearer. Climate change, has become, in the eyes of many, a climate crisis, and diversity, inclusion and equality are urgent issues for global society. Circular economy and sustainable forestry management are at the heart of our business principles, and directly addresses legitimate concerns of our customers and indeed of the broader public. With a focus on sustainability, and by collaborating with our value chain partners, we can create greater social, economic and environmental value.”

While the SDR has been independently assured since 2009, the 2020 SDR is the company’s first to report in line with recommendations of the Taskforce for Climate related Financial Disclosures1 and the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board2 criteria.

Smurfit Kappa also aligned its sustainability ambitions and targets into its financing by embedding its sustainability targets via Key Performance Indicators into its existing €1.35 billion Revolving Credit Facility (“RCF”), creating a Sustainability Linked RCF, at the end of 2020.

Smurfit Kappa has been contributing to making the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality since 2015. This contribution was recognised by the Support the Goals movement in 2020 when the company became the first FTSE 100 company to receive a five-star rating.

Steven Stoffer, Group VP of Sustainable Development at Smurfit Kappa, said: “This five-star rating from Support the Goals, our continued listing on the FTSE4Good, Euronext Vigeo Europe 120 and others, and the recent upgrading by ISS ESG to the highest rating in the environmental category, is testament to the commitment of everyone in our company and our end-to-end approach to sustainability.”

By committing to these sustainability targets, the company’s Better Planet Packaging portfolio of sustainable products will continue to help its customers to deliver on their own short- and long-term sustainability goals. The company recently showcased these innovative solutions to over 2,700 attendees at its Better Planet Packaging 2021 virtual event.

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