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3 minute read

DS Smith announces commitment to sustainability targets

Packaging manufacturer DS Smith, has announced a series of new climate targets, including a target of 40% reduction of CO2 emissions per tonne of product by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, and a commitment to reach at least net zero emissions by 2050.

These targets will be validated by the Science Based Targets initiative as being in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. To further underline the company’s ambition and commitment, DS Smith also announced its membership of the UN’s Race to Zero. To achieve these targets, it will further adopt a number of engineering solutions, including using local biomass and biogas, and renewable electricity, such as wind and solar.

DS Smith has announced a commitment to cut CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 / Picture: DS Smith


In 2017, DS Smith announced its target to reduce carbon emissions per tonne of product by 30% by 2030 against a 2015 baseline. As part of a coordinated effort across its 250+ sites globally, it has achieved a 23% reduction by the end of 2020, placing it well ahead of its plans.

DS Smith has achieved this by investing in technology including waste-to-energy solutions, state-of-the-art combined heat and power facilities, and equipment upgrades from new boilers and LED lighting. It has also increased its use of renewable fuel sources, such as biogas and biomass, and improved its energy usage to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Miles Roberts, group chief executive of DS Smith, said: “It is widely recognised that heavy manufacturing is one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise, but we are committed to playing our part by taking action to net zero with a clear plan and roadmap. We make sustainable packaging that is fibre-based and fully recyclable and believe that through combined leadership in the circular economy and climate action, we are uniquely positioned to have a real impact in helping to reduce the rise in global temperatures.

“We’ve already made good progress in reducing our carbon as part of our long-term sustainability focus, but we know we need to do much more. That’s why today we are not only setting ambitious climate targets for ourselves; but strengthening our commitment to delivering more circular solutions for our customers and wider society. I am incredibly proud of all of our people for making this happen.”

DS SMith is ahead of its previous carbon reduction targets, after achieving a 23% reduction in emissions per tonne of product by the end of 2020 / Picture: DS Smith


Andrew Griffith MP, UK Net Zero Business Champion, said: “DS Smith is making great progress against its previous carbon reduction targets, tackling the challenges associated with decarbonising the paper and packaging sector. Business plays a key role in driving the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy, with over 40 of the FTSE100 now signed up to the UN’s Race to Zero,  I hope this announcement inspires other companies in the sector to take action.”

Andrew Morlet, CEO of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a strategic partner of DS Smith, said: “We look forward to exploring how our strategic partnership with DS Smith can help accelerate the company’s progress towards achieving the climate targets announced today, in parallel with its circular economy commitments. The switch to renewable energy can only reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55%, while the remaining 45% of emissions come from how we make and use products — so the transition to a circular economy is vital in order to tackle climate change, as well as other global challenges.”

In addition to its climate action commitment, DS Smith recently announced its £100m R&D and innovation package to accelerate its work in the circular economy. The new investment underpins DS Smith’s new circular economy led sustainability strategy, Now and Next, which pledges to manufacture 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2023 and to take a billion pieces of problem plastics off supermarket shelves by 2025.

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