Leadership Stories

Smurfit Kappa

Smurfit Kappa’s sustainability priorities are forests, climate change, water, waste and people. The company shifts linear to circular flows throughout its packaging value chain: from sustainable sourcing of key raw materials (products contain 75% recycled fiber) to minimizing the operational impact and lowering the environmental footprint of customers and consumers.


CO2 emission reduction targets from the use of fossil fuels by paper and board mills are 40% by 2030 compared to 2005. Freight transportation emits 434,000 tonnes CO2e, which represents about 6% of Smurfit Kappa’s total carbon footprint. Of this figure 5% is generated by rail, 8% by water and 87% by road, based on shipped volume.

“Our logistics strategy for our Paper and Recycling Supply Chain includes a wide range of activities to effectively reduce CO2 emissions. Logistics emissions reporting plays a vital role in strategic decision making and to monitor results.

Dominik Dohr
Logistics Manager, Group Sourcing

Report and Set Targets

  • Operating companies report transport data on a quarterly basis on single lane basis to determine transport activity and performance per modality and transport flow. Transport emissions are calculated using the GLEC Framework methodology and emission factors. Transport emissions are integrated as a KPI into the company’s overall logistics performance reporting to support understanding of transport emissions and reduction possibilities.


  • Focuses on three improvement areas in transport choices: maximizing efficiency through payload optimization and reduction of empty mileage; developing modal mix with intermodal traffic, rail and water transport solutions; and emission reduction from alternative fuels and fuel efficiency improvements.
  • Piloting the first 100% electric trucks in German-Dutch border area under the Interreg eGreen LastMile project, aiming for carbon neutral distribution through its short distance transport network. The plan is to use the truck to operate in closed loops between paper mills and corrugated plants for paper deliveries and recycled paper returns.
  • Invested in a new rail track at the Hoya mill in Germany led to an increase of inbound volumes for recovered paper raw materials via rail. Further options to connect operations to rail infrastructure are being explored.
  • Shipping 42,000 tons paper with vessels directly from the quay at Parenco mill in the Netherlands via the Rhine river and the North Sea to the UK since 2018.


  • Smurfit Kappa is in a unique position to help customers reduce their freight transportation CO2 emissions through packaging innovation. The company worked with global transport provider Scania to replace wooden pallets and expanded polystyrene (EPS) to transport truck windows with paper-based honeycomb. Along with the switch from multiple materials to a single material solution, the storage space required was cut by 50% which resulted in transportation and CO2 emission savings for Scania.
  • Long-term collaboration with the maritime carrier Wagenborg, starting in 2001 with replacing old and inefficient ships with dedicated ice-strengthened roll-on/roll-off carriers, and now focusing on retro-fitting vessels to comply with International Maritime Organization (IMO) sulphur regulations that came into force in 2020.
  • Listed in investor rating systems and participation to disclosure programs: Ethibel Sustainability Index, FTSE4Good, Euronext Vigeo Index, STOXX ESG Leaders, CDP, Sedex and Ecovadis.

About Smurfit Kappa

Smurfit Kappa is one of the world’s largest providers of paper-based packaging, including corrugated packaging, containerboard and ‘bag in box’, and with operations in over 35 countries.

More information on: www.smurfitkappa.com

Source of reference:

Smurfit Kappa Sustainable Development Report 2018.
Smurfit Kappa set to drive down emissions further with electric trucks.
Smurfit Kappa and Scania collaborate on sustainable and optimised packaging solution.