Sonoco Targets Voluntary 15% Drop in Global GHG Emissions by 2014

Sonoco, Hartsville, S.C., USA, reported this week that it is voluntarily targeting a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the company's more than 300 global manufacturing plants by 2014. Harris E. DeLoach Jr., chairman, president, and CEO, announced the new goal in a letter to stakeholders from the company's 2009-2010 Sustainability Report that was issued this week.

"Last year, we committed to reducing GHG emissions from our uncoated recycled paper mills in the U.S. and Canada by approximately 15% by 2013. I am pleased to report that our efforts in 2009 led to an approximate 13% reduction," DeLoach said. "We have put in place a global web-based environmental management system that collects GHG emissions from all of our international manufacturing facilities. We have taken these data, established 2008 as our baseline year, and set a goal of reducing GHG emission from our more than 300 manufacturing facilities by 15% by 2014."

DeLoach added that the significant progress Sonoco made in 2009 toward reducing GHG emissions came from decreasing energy consumption and by converting steam boilers at some of the company's paperboard mills to less carbon-intensive fuels. As an example, overall energy consumption at Sonoco's North American paperboard mills was reduced by 3.3% in 2009, which saved the company approximately $2.2 million and reduced GHG and other emissions. Further projects are underway at company mills in North America, Italy, and Greece.