Smurfit Kappa announces new Better Planet 2050 targets
Broadening Smurfit Kappa’s commitments to sustainability, the group has introduced new and updated, ambitious targets as part of its Better Planet 2050 commitments.
Addressing sustainability in a number of areas, its new targets focus on reducing further its environmental footprint, increase its support for communities and further enhance the lives of its employees. The group’s targets under its Better Planet 2050 commitments builds upon its sustainability efforts which it has been reporting on since 2005.
“Sustainability has always been part of our DNA but concerns about how we treat our planet, how we create a more inclusive world and support greater equality across our communities has never been so important. More needs to be done to address these global challenges. That is why we are setting new, more ambitious short-term targets and longer-term goals. Better Planet 2050 quantifies our commitment to protect what we care about – our planet, our people and our business - through a set of ambitious goals that will drive actions and behaviours that will deliver better outcomes,” commented Tony Smurfit, CEO, Smurfit Kappa Group.
Breaking down Smurfit Kappa’s new targets
Committed to targeting environmental and social sustainability in areas that it believes will have the greatest impact, Smurfit Kappa’s new targets include sustainable packaging, reducing its environmental footprint in water usage, waste and carbon emissions, and supporting communities, by promoting inclusion and diversity as well as health and safety.
“We recognise that good social citizenship, shown in our interactions with employees, business partners and host communities, can improve lives. It is essential to creating a sustainable future for all,” added Smurfit.
Smurfit Kappa’s main targets include:
- Increasing its reduction in fossil CO2 emissions from 40% to 55% in its global paper and board mill system by 2030, and reaching at least net zero fossil emissions by 2050
- Increasing its Chain of Custody Certified delivers to customers from >90% to >95% by 2025,
- Achieving at least a 1% intensity reduction of water intake by its global paper and board mill system yearly
- Establishing a diverse workplace and ensure that female gender representation across the Group is above 30%, as well as having 25% of females holding management positions (a 2% annual increase over the next three years)
- Donating over US$29.18mn to support social, environmental and community initiatives, between 2020 and 2025
IHS Markit/CIPS: UK Manufacturing PMI near-record high
UK manufacturing trends
For the UK manufacturing sector, growth of output and new orders were both reported by IHS Markit and CIPS as among the best seen over the past seven years, which in turn has led to a strong increase in employment. Despite this, the sector continues to face supply chain delays and input shortages, which resulted in increased purchasing costs and record selling price inflation.
UK Manufacturing IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®)
Seasonally adjusted, IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) rose to 60.9 in April, which was an increase compared to March (58.9) and above the estimated 60.7 for April.
Increasing for the eleventh consecutive month, the latest readings are the highest since July 1994 (61.0). The output growth for April has been attributed to the loosening of lockdown restrictions, improving demands and a rise in backlogged work.
“The manufacturing sector was flooded with optimism in April as the PMI rose to its highest level since July 1994, bolstered by strong levels of new orders and the end of lockdown restrictions opened the gates to business. It was primarily the home market that fuelled this upsurge in activity though more work from the US, Europe and China demonstrated there were also improvements in the global economy. This boom largely benefited corporates as output growth at small-scale producers continued to lag behind,” said Duncan Brock, Group Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.
In addition to expanding production, total new orders rose for its third consecutive month, which was attributed to a revival of domestic market conditions, stronger client confidence, parts of the economy reopening and improving global market conditions.
While new exports rose in April, the rate was reported as weaker in comparison to new orders. “Companies reported improved new work intakes from several trading partners, including mainland Europe, the US, China and South-East Asia. Large-sized manufacturers saw a substantial expansion in new export order intakes, compared to only a marginal rise at small-sized firms,” said IHS Markit/CIPS.
UK Manufacturing’s outlook
Remaining positive at the start of the second quarter, 66% of companies forecast that output will be higher in a year's time, which is attributed to expectations for less disruption related to COVID-19 and Brexit, economic recovery, improved client confidence and new product launches.
“Further loosening of COVID-19 restrictions at home and abroad led to another marked growth spurt at UK factories. The headline PMI rose to a near 27-year high, as output and new orders expanded at increased rates. The outlook for the sector is also increasingly positive, with two-thirds of manufacturers expecting output to be higher in one year’s time. Export growth remains relatively subdued, however, as small manufacturers struggle to export,” said Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit.
Adding to comments from IHS Markit and CIPS, , Managing Director of Freight and Logistics at Accenture Global said: “While today’s figures are positive overall, the worsening supply situation is still a concern, with rates of both input costs and selling price inflation running far above anything previously seen. Shipping delays and material shortages are driving huge backlogs of uncompleted work and the surge in manufacturing orders is leading to many firms struggling to boost operating capacity to keep up with demand. With business expectations becoming even more optimistic as the economy rebounds, the big question will be whether firms will be able to cope with the surging inflows of new orders.
“As ongoing supply chain issues are still at large, companies with wide international footprints should look to reassess their logistics strategies by running supply chain stress tests and simulations in order to respond quickly to upswings and variability in demand. A flexible and resilient supply chain will be a key way for businesses to remain both competitive and stable as we emerge from the pandemic”