HARTSVILLE, S.C. (News release) -- Sonoco released its 2020-21 Corporate Responsibility Report, highlighting the Company's new 2030 commitments to reduce energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and wastes along with ongoing efforts to achieve greater packaging sustainability and recycling. The full report, Committed to our Purpose, Our People and Our Planet, is available here.
The report highlights several key environmental milestones, notably a commitment to ambitious 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goals in line with the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global temperatures to warming to well-below -2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. Sonoco's emission reduction targets were recently approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Packaging plays a fundamental role in providing sustainable, safe and hygienic delivery systems for food, medicines and other essential products. As a global leader in the production of uncoated recycled paperboard as well as a diverse mix of consumer and industrial packaging, it is of utmost importance to Sonoco to address environmental challenges, such as climate change, based on data-driven scientific criteria," said Howard Coker, president and CEO. "Over the next decade, we will dedicate each of our more than 300 operations globally to fully participate in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, purchasing power from certified green energy sources and implementing our operational excellence processes to continuously reduce energy usage."
To further strengthen its recycled paperboard mill system, Sonoco is investing $115 million in Project Horizon, a project designed with the goal of being the lowest cost producer of URB in the world with annual production capacity of 180,000 tons. Expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2022, Project Horizon will also generate important environmental benefits, including reducing electricity consumption by 16%, which in turn will drive a 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as well as total water use by 25%.
To champion Sonoco's sustainability efforts, Elizabeth Rhue has been promoted to lead the organization's sustainability initiatives. Rhue will work closely with customers and Sonoco business units to identify opportunities to meet changing product needs and develop robust, comprehensive roadmaps to help the Company achieve its sustainability goals.
"We are also focused on further developing our EnviroSense® line of more sustainable packaging that incorporates increased recycled content and improved recyclability," said Rhue, adding that EnviroSense is represented across the Company's packaging portfolio from rigid plastics, to flexibles, to Sonoco's iconic rigid paper containers.