Our Approach to Making the World a Better Place
Sustainable development is a core principle in all facets of our operations and activities. The Board has overall responsibility for ensuring that we play an appropriate role in promoting a realistically sustainable development agenda in the paper-based packaging sector. The development and implementation of our policies in this area are sponsored by our Group CEO.
At an executive management level, a Group Steering Committee sets out the strategy and objectives for sustainable development and reviews the progress made in meeting our commitments. This committee comprises the most senior executives in the Company, including the three executive directors (Group CEO, Group COO and Group CFO) the management from each division and senior staff managers from the Group head office.
The Group Steering Committee is supported by a Sustainability Working Group comprising key representatives from each of the main operating divisions in Europe and the Americas as well as from our Group headquarters. This Group’s task is to monitor the achievement of targets across a wide range of sustainability indicators and to promote the theme of sustainable improvement in our interface with customers, suppliers and the general environment. The Working Group is also responsible for the preparation and production of our annual Sustainable Development Report.
Our businesses are subject to legislation and rules determined by the jurisdictions in which they operate. We are actively involved as a member of, or participant in, a number of organizations and initiatives in the area of environmental reporting and sustainability. We adopt pro-active positions on a variety of business-related matters, making our views known to the parties concerned either directly or through industry-representing organizations.
We work closely with business and employers’ confederations in different countries. In 2010, we became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, a worldwide corporate citizenship initiative. As part of this commitment, we will report on our corporate social responsibility activities and performance in an annual Communication on Progress (COP), using our Sustainable Development Report as a starting point for this communication.
We consider continuous, open and constructive dialogue with our various stakeholder groups in all countries and areas where we operate to be of key importance. The different stakeholder groups we recognize are listed hereunder and a summary of how we engage with them is provided.
We are continuously looking to intensify our engagement with customers and in turn their customers (e.g. retailers) on key sustainability issues. Important areas of interaction are sustainable fiber sourcing, carbon footprint and social compliance. These interactions with customers can be in the form of conferences and round-table discussions with sustainability officers from customers, jointly working on specific projects in sustainability, attending customer conferences or supporting customers with their specific sustainability initiatives.
Our employees are the key to our success. Their health and safety is a core value and we place significant emphasis on their well-being. There are numerous training activities for our employees ranging from training on the job to advanced management courses, both internal as well as external. There is extensive interaction between our management and representatives of our employees through the various employee representative bodies. Our Code of Business Conduct reflects how we conduct our business and the important role our employees play in that.
There is an extensive program involving road shows and investor days where analysts and investors have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with senior operating management. One-on-one meetings, telephone conferences, and participation in industry-related investor conferences also form part of our investor relations initiative.
Besides the usual interactions with suppliers, there are specific program and initiatives in place to assure we can realize our sustainable sourcing objectives such as audits and questionnaires and the requirement that our suppliers deliver in conformity with our Sustainability Sourcing Policy. Smurfit Kappa’s operations are required to source products and services from local suppliers where possible, consistent with the need to ensure the best appropriate quality at the right price and appropriate support for sustainability.
Memberships of, or participations in, organizations such as FSC®, PEFC, the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex), CDP and Water Footprint Network. Dialogue, both direct and indirect, (through membership organizations) and cooperation on specific topics such as water and CO2 sequestration.
We engage in social projects, and health, employment and environmental initiatives in the countries in which we operate. In Latin America, in particular, there are some extensive program involving significant company expenditure together with the devotion of our employees’ time and expertise. The aim is to assist communities in self-help.
The Smurfit Kappa Group Foundation targets social responsibility, particularly in the area of youth health and education in those countries in which Smurfit Kappa operates.
We foster membership of industry associations at national and international level, and participation in forums related to broader business issues and society in general. For more information on our approach, visit our corporate site.