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Environmental Stewardship

Shrinking our environmental footprint

Reducing energy consumption, greenhouse gases, hazardous air emissions, and water usage at each of our manufacturing plants

Peninsula Packaging

In 2017, Sonoco acquired Peninsula Packaging Company, a leading manufacturer of thermoformed packaging for fresh fruits and vegetables found in the fast-growing perimeter of retail supermarkets. Peninsula’s customer base includes most of the leading household names for fresh fruits and vegetables found at retail. The company’s photovoltaic (solar) farm encompasses 3,888 solar panels on 10 acres located adjacent to the Exeter, Calif., facility, generating 1.1 megawatts of power per day—enough to support 650 typical U.S. households—providing a significant portion of the power used at the facility. Additionally, this division uses post-consumer PET beverage containers to produce new packaging for its customers (up to 100%). In fact, about 1 in 5 PET beverage containers recycled in the state of California are converted in Sonoco plants.

Our LEED-certified iPS Studio

Sonoco’s iPS Studio innovation center in Hartsville, S.C., has been recognized with LEED Silver certification status. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, helps building owners and managers improve a building’s lifecycle performance, resulting in financially and environmentally sound performance and practices. To achieve its LEED for Commercial Interiors v. 2009 certification at the Silver level, the iPS Studio excelled in a number of categories, including: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation & Design. The interior light power is 25.4% more efficient than code standard, the indoor plumbing fixtures are 48% more efficient than the national standard, and 36.65 tons of renovation construction waste were diverted from landfill. 

Making our facilities more efficient

When it comes to energy reduction across a global company, incremental adjustments at each facility can add up to a big change. Sonoco is gradually updating lighting and air compressors at its facilities to improve overall energy efficiency, and the results are already substantial. In 2015 and 2016, Sonoco invested $3.3 million in this program, with anticipated annual cost savings of $1.1 million and annual savings of more than 6,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

The Sonoco Sustainability Star Awards

The Sonoco Sustainability Star Award program recognizes customer and Sonoco-owned facilities for achieving significant milestones in landfill diversion and waste stream reduction, and is administered through Sonoco Recycling. Over the course of the program, 34 Sonoco facilities have been recognized for achieving 95% or greater landfill reduction. Most recently, Sonoco has recognized facilities in Ohio and Georgia for their creative and committed efforts to reduce waste to landfill.

Key environmental metrics

To learn more about our key environmental metrics, click on the thumbnail below.

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Sonoco's Approach to Climate Change

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

We are meeting our responsibility by developing innovative new processes and by identifying and managing risks and opportunities to our raw materials inputs, operations, employees, suppliers, customers and products.

We are focused on reducing energy usage and air emissions by maximizing energy efficiency through targeted investments and initiatives, as well as reducing water usage and landfill wastes, and we encourage our vendors, partners and contractors to do the same.

Our Environmental Policy

Sonoco's Board of Directors, management and employees take seriously our responsibility to protect the environment in which we work and live, and will conduct our business in accordance with all legal requirements and ethical responsibilities, using scientific knowledge, technical innovation and sound environmental management practices.

  • We will be sensitive to environmental issues throughout our business systems, including our selection of materials, processes and products. 
  • We will utilize appropriate monitoring techniques to ensure adherence to accepted standards. 
  • We will conduct operations in full compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations. In those areas of the world where such requirements are at a minimum, we will operate in a completely responsible manner. 
  • We will utilize natural resources efficiently, continuously seeking ways to reduce our requirements. We will strive to maximize the utilization of recovered materials in the products we manufacture and use. 
  • We will minimize the generation of discharges to the environment, including air emissions, wastewater and solid waste.
  • We will support the development of scientific knowledge relating to environmental matters and implement appropriate new technologies to improve our environmental performance. 
  • We will proactively assist our customers in addressing environmental issues related to their use of our products. 
  • We will communicate openly with our stake-holders concerning our environmental record.
  • We will cooperate with public and governmental organizations to seek responsible solutions to environmental needs and to develop effective and balanced environmental standards.

Our Climate Strategy

We will continue to run our global business in conjunction with our climate strategy, which includes
  • Greenhouse gas emission reduction
  • Use of renewable energy (biomass, solar)
  • Recycling (Global use of recovered fiber)
  • Fiber Certification

View Important Documents

Environmental Policy and Reports

Environmental Policy (Español)

Sonoco's Sustainable Wood and Fiber Policy

FSC Chain of Custody Certificate

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Chain of Custody Certificate

PEFC Chain of Custody Certificate

Talk to us.

If you would like to extend a dialogue with Sonoco on issues of sustainability, you may contact us at sustainability@sonoco.com