Smurfit Kappa has said that the circular economy will ensure that its business remains resilient as resources become more constrained.
In its 2014 sustainable development report, Sustainability in Every Fibre, the company outlined its achievements in the past year, but also looked ahead to the opportunities from the circular economy.
Smurfit Kappa chief executive Gary McGann wrote in the introduction to the document: “We fundamentally believe in a new model of doing business: the circular economy. In short, the circular economy is by nature restorative: replacing natural resources needed for our production processes and reusing, in the best way we can, those resources which we take out.
“The circular economy provides Smurfit Kappa with new business opportunities and innovative solutions to reduce material costs, ensuring our business is resilient in the face of growing resource constraints.
“In our view, increasing resource productivity through a more circular model of production and consumption can be an important contributor to job growth and economic competitiveness.
“Re-engineering our business in this way requires a holistic approach, working at system level, which promotes innovation and connections across sectors and value chains.
“While a number of our operations are already advanced in their application of this systemic approach, others are on a journey to doing so.”
In its report, Smurfit Kappa revealed that 12 out of its 38 mills did not send waste to landfill in 2014.
Ahead of a 2020 target to reduce carbon emissions per tonne of paper produced by 25%, the company achieved a 21.6% reduction in 2014.
It also saw a 28% reduction in organic content of water returned to the environment from mills, meaning it is on track for its 2020 target of 33% reduction.