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Our Commitments and Progress

A world of opportunity

Sonoco is committed to creating long-term value for its stakeholders by becoming a more sustainable and responsible corporate citizen.

Business Strength and Shareholder Performance
  • We returned $253 million to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases in 2016, and $892 million in the past five years. We have provided quarterly dividends since 1925 and have increased dividends for 34 consecutive years, while providing shareholders a current 3% yield on investment.
  • Gross profit increased to a record $937.4 million in 2016, up approximately 1%. Gross profit as a percentage of sales was 19.6%, up 90 basis points from 2015.
  • We provided shareholders with a total return (including reinvested dividends) of 32.9% in 2016, compared with a 12% return by the S&P 500 and a 19% return by the Dow Jones Total Container and Packaging Index. Over the past five years, Sonoco has produced an 88.6% total return to shareholders.
Contributing to Our Communities 
  • In 2016 Sonoco provided $2,939,670 in cash donations to 49 nonprofit agencies and programs to support education, health and welfare, environmental, cultural and civic causes. 71% of these funds supported education.
  • We provided $205,000 in college scholarships to family members of our employees and our community.
  • We provided $75,000 in relief to assist Hurricane Matthew victims through the American Red Cross and OneSC.
  • 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.
  • Our volunteers raised $8,000 for Habitat for Humanity through the proceeds of our third annual 5K run.
Reducing Our Impact on the Environment
  • We reduced normalized greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) by almost 4% in 2016 and by 21% since 2009.
  • We reduced normalized water usage by 4.7% in 2016 and by 42% since 2009.
  • 10% of Sonoco’s global manufacturing operations have achieved 95%+ diversion of wastes to landfill.
Using 2014 as our new baseline, our commitment through 2020 is to: 
  • Reduce normalized global energy usage by 1% annually, which we believe will result in a further 1% reduction in GHG emissions (or reducing GHG emissions by 5% through 2020). 
  • Reduce normalized water usage by 5% through 2020. 
  • Achieve Sonoco Sustainability Star award status at an additional 10% of the Company’s operations by significantly diverting landfill wastes. Also, continue working with our customers to demonstrate total landfill diversion from their operations in North America and Europe. 
  • Demonstrate further improvement in employee safety, diversity and engagement. 

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    Principles, People and Progress

    Sonoco was founded in 1899 on the belief that People Build Businesses. We value our people and are committed to giving them every opportunity to use their talent, skills, passion and creativity to grow themselves, their careers and our Company.


    People Build Businesses
    • We had 21 fewer employees injured globally in 2016.
    • Our employees rated Sonoco with a 78% positive engagement score.
    • We retained 95.2% of exceptional and promotable talent.

      Questions? We've got answers.

      If you would like to begin a dialogue with us on issues of sustainability, please contact us.