Vice President, Sustainable Development, Smurfit Kappa
Packaging giants are increasing their commitment to showing how sustainability will benefit customers, investors and the environment.
Online shopping increases demand for paper-based packaging – but isn’t that bad for trees?
“No,” says Steven Stoffer, Vice President, Sustainable Development at Smurfit Kappa, which aims to be the world’s most sustainable paper-based packing producer. “Sustainable management of forests is an essential requirement for the paper based packaging industry. Our industry in Europe plants more trees than we harvest.”
How can cardboard be sustainable?
Smurfit Kappa has an end-to-end approach to sustainability. We align our economic goals to environmental and social responsibility throughout. Our business model is completely circular and the best illustration of that is that we are the only company of our size in our industry that delivers practically all its packaging solutions as FSC Chain of Custody certified to its customers worldwide. This means our customers can trust that the fibres used in our products are traceable to sustainable sources,” says Stoffer.
“This benefits our customers because they too can demonstrate that their packaging is sustainable which contributes to important issues like deforestation, biodiversity and climate change. This is increasingly attractive to consumers and makes us a smart and sustainable investment.”
This benefits our customers because they too can demonstrate that their packaging is sustainable which contributes to important issues like deforestation, biodiversity and climate change.
Passing on sustainability to customers
The company is committed to reducing its CO2 intensity by 55% by 2030 compared to its base year 2005, and to achieve at least net zero carbon emissions by 2050. “We know that we can reach our 2030 target and with further innovation, we should be able to reach net zero,” says Stoffer.
“We are investing in energy efficient energy generation, re-engineering our processes and implementing smart energy solutions so as to reduce fossil fuel use. Between 40-50% of our total energy need is already coming from renewable sources such as biomass.
We are also collaborating with customers to decrease their carbon footprint through our packaging.
At SK we have a sustainable and natural packaging product, we have the practices and processes to support sustainable business that benefits our customers, communities and environments. We are sustainable at both ends and that’s what makes us different.”
Advice for businesses increasing sustainability
He adds: “We are committed to decreasing the carbon footprints of our customers through our fit-for-purpose packaging.” He advises businesses: “Focus on both how your product can best support the net zero goal through its role in the value chain and how you can reduce the carbon and other environmental footprint of your own organisation. Engage your own people, collaborate with partners and innovate. And of course, focus on the quick wins first.