Skip to main content

Stretch for It. We’ve Set Ambitious Climate Goals

« View All Insights

Stretch for It. We’ve Set Ambitious Climate Goals.

Goals aren’t meant to be hermits. Writing goals down without sharing them typically means you’ve left them to wilt in the shadows of a binder or journal. Do any New Year’s resolutions gone by come to mind? Inviting a trusted, credible person to hear and advise ambitions can go a long way to motivate you toward strategic achievements.

We’ve all experienced some form of fruits and failures from goal-setting strategies on a personal level. At Sonoco, we in a corporate, collective sense, want to be sure to invite trusted internal and external partners into our sustainability goals so that we maximize our success in environmental stewardship. Getting validation of our ambitious climate goals from the Science Based Targets Initiative was an intentional part of our strategic goal setting. We invited internal voices into the planning and received external validation to ensure we were truly stretching our capabilities and maintaining accountability. Sharing goals matters, and we’re going a step further to invite you to take a look at not just our targets but the journey to get there.  

Our Path to Identifying Climate Goals

At Sonoco, we’ve long been dedicated to reducing our environmental footprint, but we’re always striving to get better. That’s why we wanted to set ambitious climate goals. To start that process, we organized a diverse, cross-functional internal committee capable of analyzing our entire operation. The committee was tasked with setting goals that were ambitious and measurable.

Once our climate goals were identified, we sought their validation from the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). According to the organization, “Science-based targets show companies how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change.” At Sonoco, we knew partnering with SBTi would validate the rigor of our climate goals. The organization won’t approve targets that are easily within grasp. They need to be stretch goals, realistically achievable but a bit of a workout to get there.

In the summer of 2021, we were happy to announce SBTi validation of our climate goals. We have committed to validated Science-based targets aligned with keeping global warming to well below 2°C. Check out the specifics!

  • Sonoco will reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions at least 25% by 2030 from a 2020 base year.
  • Sonoco is committed to reduce absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions by 13.5% from a 2019 base year by working with our customers and suppliers to develop innovative packaging solutions that reduce packaging waste and improve recyclability.
  • Sonoco is actively studying necessary operational changes, technology developments and market changes that would be required to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.

We are proud to join the more than 1,000 companies with science-based targets, including many of our customers with SBTi-validated goals. Gaining target validation from the SBTi means inviting a respected partner into our ambitions, and we are motivated to achieve results.

See Where We’re Headed

Going forward, we plan to incorporate sustainability and environmental metrics into business unit goals and management incentives. We will also continue to work with customers and suppliers to build our EnviroSense® line of more sustainable packaging.

Reaching our climate goals will take a lot of planning and dedicated work every quarter and every year. To learn more  about our goals and how we plan to achieve them, check out our Sustainable New Year’s Resolution Webinar.

If you have any additional questions, please reach out to our team at