Smurfit Kappa has released its 15th Sustainable Development Report (SDR). The report highlights the company’s progress toward its long-standing goal of driving change and supporting a greener planet through the three main pillars of Planet, People and Impactful Business. The report suggest the company is well positioned to deliver on its long-term ambition to have net zero emissions by 2050.
Smurfit Kappa made significant progress in reducing its fossil CO2 emission intensity in 2021. The group announced targeting at least net zero emissions by 2050 and, compared to its baseline year 2005, it reduced its emissions intensity by 41.3 percent by the end of 2021. The reduction in 2021 versus 2020 was 6 percent, another step toward its net zero target.
During 2021, Smurfit Kappa delivered several key achievements, such as:
• In March, Smurfit Kappa became the first FTSE 100 company to be awarded 5 stars by “Support the Goals” in recognition of the Group’s support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
• In September, the group launched its Green Finance Framework, which was accompanied by a strong second party opinion with its product and circular business model being reported as a “significant contributor” to UN SDG 12 “Responsible consumption and production”.
• In September, Smurfit Kappa launched its inaugural green bond ,which was over-subscribed multiple times and secured the lowest ever coupon for a corporate issuer of its credit rating, along with strong participation from “dark green” investors.
• In December, Smurfit Kappa had its emissions reduction targets validated by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) as consistent with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and well below 2°C.
Smurfit Kappa has published an enhanced disclosure consistent with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations in its 2021 Annual Report, including a comprehensive top-down identification and process review of climate-related risks and opportunities and an evaluation of the potential impact on Smurfit Kappa assets from physical and transition risks under different climate scenarios.
Highlights from the 2021 SDR include:
• Social projects received €4.9 million during 2021;
• Reduction of 41.3 percent in fossil fuel emission intensity since 2005, or 6 percent year-on-year;
• SBTi approval of its emission reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement;
• Reduction in water consumption of 6.2 percent year-on-year; and
• Decrease in waste to landfill intensity of 29.2 percent since 2013, or 7 percent year-on-year.
Smurfit Kappa continues to invest in sustainability to ensure continued delivery on its long-term goals. One such example from 2021 was an investment of €11.5 million into a multi-fuel boiler at Smurfit Kappa’s Zülpich paper mill, which provides a more sustainable fuel source for generating steam and electricity. The investment will remove 55,000 tons of CO2 emissions from 2022 onwards, delivering a 25 percent reduction of CO2 emissions at the mill.