Community-focused

Sonoco continues its strong support through partnerships and community collaboration, education, health and welfare, arts and culture, and the environment.


• In 2018, Sonoco provided $2,608,920 in cash donations to 47 nonprofit agencies and programs to support education, health and welfare, environmental, cultural and civic causes. 73% of these funds supported education.

• We provided $205,000 in college scholarships to family members of our employees and our community.

• We provided $50,000 to the American Red Cross to support disaster relief.

• Since 2014, more than 100 Sonoco employees have participated in dozens of work days while having fun and networking with other members of the Sonoco family. During 2018, employees logged more than 868 hours of community service.

• In 2018, Sonoco partnered with P.A.W.S. (Positive Advocates Working with Students), providing more than 30 mentors for local elementary students. Mentors meet weekly with mentees, building strong positive relationships with students.

The Sonoco Foundation

Sonoco believes that we have an inherent responsibility to help improve the quality of life in the communities in which we serve. The Sonoco Foundation, Sonoco’s philanthropic arm, donated approximately $2.6 million to nonprofit organizations around the world in 2018. The Company’s employees also contributed time, funds and talents to a multitude of worthy causes, including volunteering, serving on boards, raising funds and participating in other civic-oriented projects.

Learn more about the Sonoco Foundation

Sonoco's 2018 cash contributions in pie chart form

Sonoco FRESH

Each year, the food industry loses $15.6 billion due to food spoilage at retail. Modifying packaging design to extend shelf life by even one day could recover $1.8 billion of that loss -- while feeding more people and reducing waste to landfills.

To that end, Sonoco is sponsoring a new research partnership with Clemson University: The Sonoco FRESH (Food Research Excellence for Safety and Health) initiative, which will develop new technologies and new forms of packaging to optimize the fresh food lifecycle. The 5-year sponsorship has a total value of $2,725 million, and is an extension of the partnership that created the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson.

  • Sonoco Cares in the Community

    Sonoco employees interested in giving back to their communities can volunteer with Sonoco Cares, a grassroots group that is now a formal part of Sonoco's Diversity and Unity Council. When it started in 2015, Sonoco Cares had 39 employees who donated 450 hours of community service that year. By 2018, 130 members logged nearly 900 hours of community service and raised more than $5,600 for charity.

    Group activities include serving at the local soup kitchen, collection and sorting donations for the regional food bank, volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, donating Christmas gifts to 55 needy children, caring for animals at the Humane Society, and raising money for Carolina Kids, a local charity that sends food home from school with hungry children. The group also raised awareness of volunteering opportunities with an MLK Week of Service in 2018 that encouraged participation far beyond the normal community of volunteers. Sonoco employees also donate coats, hurricane relief items, pet supplies and groceries to various community organizations.

  • The Packaging Industry's Most Admired

    Sonoco was selected for Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies and named first in the packaging sector. Among industry peers, we ranked first in nearly every category -- including Innovation, Use of Corporate Assets, Social Responsibility, Financial Soundness, Long-term Investment Value, Quality of Products/Services and Global Competitiveness. Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies list is the definitive report card on corporate reputation.

  • Supplier Sustainability Awards

    Sonoco’s supplier sustainability awards program, now in its fifth year, recognizes suppliers who demonstrate clear differentiation from their competitors with measurable, strategic, and transparent social, diversity, and environmental responsibility efforts. The 2017 award recipients are: Bristol Global Mobility, Pro Label Inc., Superior Group, Mondi Group and CARLSON WAGONLIT.

Major Gifts

Organization 2018 Gift ($)
American Heart Association 15,000
American Red Cross 50,000
Black Creek Arts Council 15,000
Boy Scouts of America  5,000
Christmas in April 25,000
Clemson FRESH 325,000
Coker College 706,000
Community Development Grants 336,000
Community Foundation for a Better Hartsville 25,000
Darlington County Schools 23,500
Edventure Children's Museum 50,000
Girl Scouts 5,000
Harvest Hope Food Bank 10,000
North Eastern Strategic Alliance 10,000
Sonoco Scholarships 80,050
South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics Foundation 77,500
South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc. 25,000
TEACH Foundation 475,000
Trent Hill Center for Children and Families 5,000
UNCF 10,000
United Way 110,000
University of South Carolina 60,000
YMCA 65,000

Sonoco did not make contributions of expenditures toward the influence of an issue or topic requiring lobbying efforts in 2018.