Packaging group to be carbon neutral by 2050

A packaging group with a major site in the Black Country has committed to reach net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

DS Smith has a base in Smethwick. Photo: Google
DS Smith has a base in Smethwick. Photo: Google

DS Smith has announced a series of ambitious climate targets. This includes a 40 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions per tonne of product by 2030, compared to 2019 levels.

It has 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 like wind and solar.

In 2017, DS Smith, which has a factory at Langley House, Summit Crescent, Smethwick, and a recycling depot at Willenhall, announced its target to reduce carbon emissions per tonne of product by 30 per ent by 2030 against a 2015 baseline.

As part of a coordinated effort across its over 250 sites globally, it has achieved a 23 per cent reduction by the end of 2020, placing it well ahead of its plans.

DS Smith has achieved this by investing in groundbreaking 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 recognized that heavy manufacturing is one of the most challenging sectors to de-carbonise, 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."

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