Sonoco releases sustainability report

Sonoco has released its 2021-22 Corporate Responsibility Report, renewing 2030 commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage.

The Science Based Targets align with the Paris Climate Agreement, which seeks to limit global warming temperatures well below -2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Beyond performance metrics, Sonoco further increased packaging sustainability and recycling with the $1.35 million acquisition of Ball Metalpack in January 2022. This expanded Sonoco’s canmaking franchise and sustainable product portfolio with the addition of tinplate steel packaging – the world’s most recycled substrate.

Funds for the acquisition came from $1.2 billion in certified Green Bonds, one of the largest sustainable offerings to date in the US packaging sector.

“We believe that we can grow our global sustainable packaging business while we work to lessen our impact on the environment,” said Howard Coker, president and CEO.

“Our journey to achieve these mutually beneficial goals continued over the past year despite unprecedented head winds from supply chain disruptions, inflation and the continuing effects of the pandemic.”

Nearing completion is a $125 million investment to upgrade Sonoco’s Hartsville Mill complex, including the conversion of a corrugated medium machine into a state-of-the-art, 180,000 ton-per-year uncoated recycled paper (URB) mill. The initiative, known as Project Horizon, enables URB production at the lowest cost worldwide and creates an estimated 16 percent reduction in electricity consumption and emissions and a 1-million-gallon reduction in water.

Last year, Sonoco also made significant progress toward its Diversity and Inclusion goals despite a challenging labour market. In the US, female new hires made up 44% of talent while 34% belonged to a minority group.

Efforts to reduce environmental social and governance risks have led to Sonoco’s top ranking in Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies for the packaging sector, a mention in Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies for the fourth consecutive year and a spot in Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies.

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