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We're focused on reducing our environmental footprint throughout the manufacturing process.


We're committed to clean manufacturing.

We're focused on reducing energy usage, water usage and air emissions through targeted facility investments and other sustainable manufacturing initiatives.

Ed Harrington, Director, Global Environmental Services

Fighting Climate Change 

We recognize our responsibility to address the challenges of global climate change. We're committed to measuring and reporting our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy and water consumption and waste generation in our operations around the world. 

We encourage our vendors, partners and contractors to do the same. We will continue to run our global business in conjunction with our climate strategy, which includes:

Investing in Timberlands to Offset Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Sonoco owns approximately 55,000 acres of timberlands in South Carolina. Using methodology developed by the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc., we estimate these trees have captured more than 200,000 tons of CO2 in 2019, which have offset our total greenhouse gas emissions by 14%.

Our Packaging Sustainability Commitments for 2025

Sonoco is committed to working closely with our customers to help them achieve their post-consumer recycled content commitments.

Sonoco will ensure 75% of our global rigid plastic packaging can make the relevant on-pack recyclable claim.

Based on product we put into marketplace, we will increase the equivalent, by weight, the amount we recycle or cause to be recycled from 65% to 85%

Sonoco will not utilize resin additives that purport to degrade in landfills or waterways by simply breaking up into smaller pieces.

We will also ensure all our production facilities utilizing plastic pellets have systems to prevent environmental discharge of these pellets.

Hands holding plastic pellets

Operation Clean Sweep® Partners

By 2025, Sonoco plans for all production facilities utilizing plastic pellets to have systems to prevent environmental discharge. Several of Sonoco’s plants are Operation Clean Sweep® (OCS) partners, pledging membership to an organization with a goal to prevent resin from entering the environment. The plants actively complete projects to achieve this resin-prevention goal.

For example, the Sonoco Waynesville plant installed filters in storm drains to capture any resin that may get outside the plant and trained employees in the proper way to contain resin pellets, flakes and powder before disposal. Leadership continues to encourage all employees to come to the OCS team with new ideas for improvement projects.

OCS Partnership

Preventing Contamination

“These efforts to prevent contamination are good for our waterways and animals in our environment, and it promotes safety inside our plants. We might not be able to fully control how our trays are disposed of by the end-use consumer, but we can control how we handle the plastic pellets, flake and powder around our plant and make a difference by proving our commitment to the environment.”

Savannah Marsh, Plant SPS Coordinator, Waynesville, NC

  • 25% reduction in total water usage

  • 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

  • 16% reduction in energy usage

Project Horizon

Creating a Brighter Future for Our URB Mill System

We’re investing $115 million to transform our Hartsville, SC, corrugated medium machine into state-of-the-art uncoated recycled paperboard technology with an annual production capacity of 180,000 tons. Our goal is to become the largest and lowest cost producer of recycled  paperboard in the world.

Reducing Energy Consumption

Cutting Back on Coal Consumption, an Indonesia Success Story

Sonoco has multiple energy efficiency projects focused on implementing improvements around the world. One successful project involved our Subang, Indonesia facility. The facility reduced coal consumption per ton steam by 18% from 2005 to 2021. This was achieved through productivity and usage optimization. After seeing early success in Subang, the team in Indonesia quickly rolled this model out to its Magelang facility, which saw a 36% consumption reduction from 2006 to 2020.

Our facility in Subang, Indonesia

Sonoco is proud to work with the following certifying and reporting bodies:

This list is not exhaustive of all organizations Sonoco works with.

  • FSC
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • Science Based Targets
  • MSCI
  • Ecovadis
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We think about the future of packaging and how it impacts our planet. We work every day to make better products.