Forest certification is in this context a success story. As of 2019, about one-third of the wood used in products, packaging or construction is certified as originating from sustainable forest management and supply chains. PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, has been instrumental to this success. With innovations such as group certification, a mechanism that makes certification accessible to small- and family forest owners, PEFC has expanded the accessibility of certification. Today about one million forest owners have obtained PEFC certification. With its latest sustainable forest management standard, PEFC expanded the scope of certification to include Trees outside Forests, extending the impact of PEFC certification beyond the boundaries of the forest. This innovation can make PEFC certification practical and affordable to farmers or other land managers, who are often growing trees as just one of their many crops.
Sonoco (NYSE: SON), one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, today announced new commitments to advance its environmental progress by setting ambitious goals to reduce its global greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement – to limit global temperatures to warming to well-below 2° C above pre-industrial levels. These emission reduction targets have recently been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Sonoco has committed to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030 from a 2020 base year. The Company has also committed to reduce absolute scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 13.5 percent from a 2019 base year by working with its customer and suppliers to develop innovative packaging solutions that reduce packaging waste and improve recyclability. In addition, the Company is actively studying necessary operational changes, technology developments and market changes that would be required to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050.
“Sonoco has been dedicated to reducing its environmental footprint for many years. In order to continue delivering on our purpose of Better Packaging. Better Life., we must operate with sustainability at the forefront and commit to doing our part to address climate change,” said Howard Coker, Sonoco President and Chief Executive Officer. “Over the next decade, we will dedicate each of our 300 global operations to fully participate in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, purchasing power from certified green energy sources and continuously identifying opportunities to reduce energy usage.”
According to Elizabeth Rhue, Staff Vice President of Sustainability, Sonoco will drive commitments to its greenhouse gas reduction goals by incorporating sustainability and environmental metrics into business unit goals and management incentives. In addition, the Company will continue working with its customers and suppliers to further build out Sonoco’s EnviroSense® line of more sustainable packaging.
“Our environmental commitments are critical to Sonoco’s long-term sustainability,” Rhue said. “We have and are developing sustainability champions in each of our business units who will regularly track and report on our progress. This work will become interconnected across our supply chain as we work to meet the changing needs of our customers.”