Sustainability Report 2022

Each year we publish a comprehensive sustainability report detailing progress against our Now and Next Sustainability Strategy.

Since launching our Now and Next Sustainability Strategy, we’ve made tremendous progress - replacing problem plastics, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing innovative recycling solutions as we scale up circular solutions for our customers and society.

2021/22 Performance Highlights 

  • 100% recyclable or reusable packaging achieved this year
  • 313 million units of problem plastic replaced with recyclable alternatives since 2020/21
  • 29% reduction in GHG emissions per tonne of production since 2015
  • 1.5°C science-based target set, to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 46% by 2030 compared to 2019 and reach Net Zero GHG emissions by 2050
  • 5% reduction in water withdrawal per tonne of production at mills in water stressed areas since 2019/20 and awarded CDP Water Security ‘A List’
  • Halved the number of non-conformances with consents to discharge compared to last year
  • 2.3 million people engaged on the circular economy and circular lifestyles
  • 100% of our sites engaged in community activities this year
  • 6% reduction in accident frequency rate this year
  • 50% of our people actively engaged on the circular economy this year
  • 100 biodiversity projects launched to enhance nature in our local communities since 2020/21


DS Smith ESG Databook 2022

Our databook is prepared to supplement the sustainability report for stakeholders who require a greater level of quantitative detail about the non-financial performance of DS Smith.


Sustainability Report 2022 is our progress update on delivering against our Now and Next Sustainability Strategy, focused on the sustainability challenges we face today, as well as those that will impact future generations.

We celebrate achieving nine of our Now and Next Sustainability Strategy targets, from manufacturing 100% recyclable or reusable packaging to setting a 1.5°C science-based target, validated by the Science-based Targets initiative (SBTi) and conducting our first ever human rights risk assessment.

We maintained our commitments that 100% of papers are recycled or chain of custody certified, 100% of sites at risk of water stress maintain water stress mitigation plans and 100% of sites engage in community activities.

We share how we believe the circular economy is crucial to reaching Net Zero and how we are bringing our customers into the circular economy, from our Circular Design Metrics, which help our customers make more sustainable choices to our Circular Design Principles, which ensure that our packaging solutions are designed to be fit for the circular economy.

Our 1.5°C science-based target

This year, the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) validated our 1.5°C science-based target, to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 46% by 2030 compared to 2019 and to reach Net Zero GHG emissions by 2050.

We will encourage 100% of our strategic suppliers to set their own science-based targets by 2027. This target will keep us, a member of the UN’s Race to Zero initiative, in line with our commitment to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050. We have ambitious growth plans over the coming years as we lead the transition to a circular economy. As part of this, we will work with partners, suppliers, customers and policymakers to collectively tackle climate change through the circular economy.

And finally, our report is aligned with the GRI Standards and SASB (Containers and Packaging) standard, following best practice ESG reporting.

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