The packaging leader has had a long-term commitment to making real and measurable progress against its five strategic sustainability priorities of forest, climate change, water, waste and people. Earlier this year, Smurfit Kappa announced that it had met, and in some cases exceeded, its previous sustainability goals in the areas of people, climate change and water with the last two goals achieved three years ahead of their 2020 deadline. While Smurfit Kappa’s paper-based packaging is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, the paper production process itself is resource-intensive so a new set of goals has been outlined to build on the progress already made. These are: Maintaining >90% chain of custody certification of annual customer deliveries; Maintaining 100% chain of custody operating system certification; Assessing energy usage reduction opportunities in converting operations by 2020; Performing water risk assessments for paper mills not yet assessed by 2020; Decreasing water discharge intensity by 60% by 2025 compared to 2005; Decreasing paper mill fossil intensity by 40% by 2030 compared to 2005; Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill by 30% by 2025. Click read more below for additional detail.
Sappi North America, Inc., a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper, packaging products and pulp, today released its 2020 Sustainability Report, illustrating Sappi’s continued commitment to sustainable development. The report highlights the ways that Sappi remained innovative and prosperous during the COVID-19 pandemic; its commitment to employee safety and third-party collaborations for sustainability initiatives; and ambitious plans to meet its strategic business goals for 2025.
“In 2020, we continued to build on our sustainability commitments and created a foundation of new strategies to tackle our global business goals which will guide us into 2025,” said Mike Haws, President and CEO, Sappi North America. “We are confident in our capacity to grow as a business while contributing toward building a circular, sustainable economy.”
Sappi North America’s 2020 results exhibit its commitment to innovation, sustainability and business growth throughout its communities. Highlights from the report include:
How Sappi responded to the pandemic as an essential business. Sappi’s mills continued to operate as an essential business during the pandemic, and pivoted to creating new products at the onset of the crisis last spring. Its products are now being used to create face shields, packaging for COVID-19 test kits, and disinfecting wipes.
A record year for safety. The safety and wellbeing of Sappi employees continues to be a top priority for the company. The company’s injury rates in 2020 were the most favorable in Sappi’s history, with a lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) of 0.16. This is the third consecutive year that Sappi set a new best-year LTIFR.
Recognition of industry-leading sustainability performance. In 2020, Sappi North America was awarded a Platinum score by EcoVadis, a leader in third-party evaluations of business sustainability performance. Sappi scored in the top 1 percent of companies evaluated within its sector, alongside the company’s regional counterparts in Sappi Europe and Sappi Southern Africa.
Personal and financial resilience. Despite significant challenges over the past year, Sappi finished 2020 on a positive note. Its operational flexibility, and that of its employees and stakeholders, allowed the company to partly mitigate decreasing demand in some sectors by meeting the unexpected need for other products, such as food packaging and pulp for tissue producers.
Sappi North America’s 2025 Goals
Sappi Limited’s 2020 vision was focused on lowering total energy consumption, reducing waste and increasing certified fiber. For 2025, the company will continue to focus on responsible operations and sourcing, driven by a refreshed corporate brand and purpose as a renewable resources company. Dedicated teams across Sappi evaluated the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) themes and identified seven goals where it can be the most impactful, while addressing broader global concerns. In North America, Sappi is answering the call to help build a better world, in partnership with other global businesses and local communities, to set and achieve ambitious goals for sustainable development.
“We are very pleased with Sappi’s achievements over the last year during these unprecedented times,” said Beth Cormier, Vice President of Research, Development and Sustainability, Sappi North America. “Across our global operations, the Sappi family was able to adapt and create innovative solutions, a testament to our resourceful and hardworking employees. Our expectations remain high that over the next five years we will see continued success in sustainable development globally and in our local communities.”