Carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced, and more carbon must be captured. Fossil raw materials must be replaced with renewables, and biodiversity must be fostered as a prerequisite for all life. As the world’s most important ecosystem, forests play an important role in all this. PEFC forest certification ensures that forests are managed and used sustainably. PEFC stands for the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. Its purpose is to ensure ecologically, socially and economically sustainable forest management and use. Globally, more than 60% of all certified forest hectares are certified in accordance with the PEFC. The PEFC requires profitable and socially sustainable forestry to maintain forests’ biodiversity and cultural and recreational value. PEFC forest certification sets stricter sustainability criteria for forest management than legislation, which determines the national minimum requirements. In Finland, the first Forest Act came into effect as early as 1886. Today, for example, the Forest Act still requires that the growth of a new generation of trees is ensured by planting new seedlings.
The prestigious Portafolio Awards are held annually in Colombia to recognise people and companies who have demonstrated exemplary achievements in areas including the environment, customer service, business and social initiatives. A large group of companies, including some of the world’s leading brands, were gathered at the event along with the country’s president, Juan Manuel Santos.
Alvaro Henao, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Colombia, said: “We are excited and proud to receive this award. It recognises Smurfit Kappa Group´s commitment to initiatives that help improve the environment and develop the communities in which we operate.
“At Smurfit Kappa, we believe in sustainability in every fibre and this includes running our plants and mills in a sustainable way and being socially responsible.”
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an integral part of Smurfit Kappa’s ongoing global sustainability programme, with the company investing in the economic and social development of the communities in which it operates.
‘People’ is one of the five strategic pillars of the company’s commitment to sustainability along with forest, climate change, water and waste. Smurfit Kappa engages with and actively supports people in local communities to build a sustainable future. Examples of successful initiatives delivered by the company to date include:
*Schools and education programmes in Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Poland and Venezuela
*Vocational training and work placements in Norway
*Recycling workshops in Spain and the Czech Republic
*Conservation projects to protect the flora and fauna in forests and plantations in Colombia
*Environmental clean-up of local area in Russia.
This latest award follows on from Smurfit Kappa ranking in the top 1% of Ecovadis’ worldwide sustainability ratings earlier this year.