DS Smith reinforces commitment to the circular economy with ambitious two-phase sustainability strategy
DS Smith, the FTSE 100 leading provider of sustainable packaging, has just launched its new sustainability vision and strategy, Now and Next, which maps out ambitious commitments and goals for the next decade.
Through its innovative two-phased Now and Next approach, DS Smith will continue to focus on the transition to a circular economy by partnering with customers, communities, governments and influencers to keep materials in use, design out waste and regenerate natural systems. It will continue to focus on CO₂ reduction, protecting biodiversity and reducing water consumption.
Miles Roberts, Group CEO of DS Smith commented: “As we respond to the changing world in which we live and operate, it is critical that our drive to redefine packaging continues to place circularity at the heart of our business. Our new strategy allows us to move beyond just having a strong circular business model ourselves to delivering more circular solutions for our customers and wider society – replacing problem plastics, taking carbon out of supply chains and providing innovative recycling solutions.”
The strategy sets out four key pillars, alongside a continued commitment to reduce CO₂ emissions by 30% against a 2015 baseline and care for its forests and biodiversity wherever it operates. The key areas of the strategy will drive sustainable growth at DS Smith through its ambitious targets:
- Closing the loop through better design – By 2023, it will manufacture 100% reusable or recyclable packaging and its aim is that by 2030 all of its packaging will be recycled or reused
- Protecting natural resources by making the most of every fibre – By 2025, it will optimise fibre use for individual supply chains in 100% of its new packaging solutions and by 2030 it aims to optimise every fibre for every supply chain
- Reducing waste and pollution through circular solutions – By 2025, it will take 1 billion pieces of problem plastics off supermarket shelves, take 250,000 lorries off the road and work with partners to find solutions for ‘hard to recycle’ packaging. Meanwhile, by 2030 it aims to use packaging and recycling to enable the circular economy by replacing problem plastics, reducing customer carbon and eliminating consumer packaging waste
- Equipping people to lead the transition to a circular economy – By 2025 it will engage 100% of its people on the circular economy and by 2030 it will engage 5 million people on the circular economy and circular lifestyles.
Wouter van Tol, Head of Sustainability, Community and Government Affairs commented: “Now and Next positions DS Smith at the forefront of the packaging industry and sets a clear roadmap to address immediate challenges, while also working to meet the needs of the next generation by creating solutions that are aligned with the principles of the circular economy. By taking a whole systems approach, we have a huge opportunity to make significant progress against our environmental, social and governance responsibilities.”
Following measurable progress against its nine long-term sustainability goals, the Now and Next Sustainability Strategy has been introduced as part of a strategic review and vision to be the leading supplier of sustainable packaging. In the past year, DS Smith hit a number of sustainability milestones including an 11% reduction in emissions in 2019 compared to 2015 on a like-for-like basis and 100% engagement in community programmes across its site employing more than 50 people.
An international packaging company, it produced over 17 billion boxes in 2019/20 and is Europe’s largest cardboard and paper recycler, managing 6 million tonnes per year, making it a net positive recycler. DS Smith is one of only 16 Strategic Partners of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation – the recognised global authority on the circular economy.
About DS Smith:
DS Smith is a leading provider of corrugated worldwide, supported by recycling and papermaking operations. Headquartered in London and a member of the FTSE 100, DS Smith focuses on creating innovative sustainable packaging solutions in 34 countries employing around 30,000 people. Using the combined expertise of its divisions – including Packaging, Recycling, Paper – DS Smith works with customers to deliver solutions that reduce complexity and deliver results throughout the supply chain. Its history can be traced back to the box-making businesses started in the 1940s by the Smith family.