Community-focused

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


• In 2017, Sonoco provided $2,441,580 in cash donations to 45 nonprofit agencies and programs to support education, health and welfare, environmental, cultural and civic causes. 69% of these funds supported education.

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

• We provided $60,000 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 2017, employees logged more than 914 hours of community service.

• Our volunteers raised more than $4,000 in the Million Step Challenge. These funds were used to purchase meals for the Rise Against Hunger program, and allowed Sonoco employees to package more than 14,000 kits for hungry communities around the world.

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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 $2.5 million to nonprofit organizations around the world in 2017. 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 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.

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  • 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 2017, 115 members logged more than 900 hours of community service and raised more than $4,000 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 66 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 2017 that encouraged participation far beyond the normal community of volunteers.

    Sonoco employees also donate money to causes close to their hearts. In 2017, employees raised $34,260 for disaster victims via the Red Cross. And when an earthquake struck Mexico City, where many Sonoco employees live and work, employees around the world donated $11,250 to help their affected colleagues get back on their feet.

  • 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 2017 Gift ($)
American Heart Association 15,000
American Red Cross 60,000
Black Creek Arts Council 15,000
Boy Scouts of America  5,000
Christmas in April 20,000
Clemson University 14,000
Coker College 706,000
Community Development Grants 324,000
Community Foundation for a Better Hartsville 25,000
Darlington County Schools 5,000
Edventure Children's Museum 50,000
Girl Scouts 5,000
Habitat for Humanity 8,000
Harvest Hope Food Bank 10,000
North Eastern Strategic Alliance 10,000
Sonoco Scholarships 75,770
South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics Foundation 85,400
South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc. 25,000
TEACH Foundation 700,000
Trent Hill Center for Children and Families 49,170
UNCF 15,000
United Way 110,000
YMCA 65,000

Sonoco did not make contributions of expenditures toward the influence of an issue or topic requiring lobbying efforts in 2017.