Jump to main content

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 $159.5 million to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases in 2017, and $927 million over the past five years. We have provided quarterly dividends since 1925 and have increased dividends for 35 consecutive years, while providing shareholders a current 3.9% yield on investment.
  • 2017 net sales were $5.04 billion, up $253.8 million compared with $4.78 billion in 2016. Sales grew 5.3% for the year due to higher selling prices implemented to recover rising material costs; acquisitions, net of divestitures; and the positive impact of foreign exchange.
  • Over the past five years, Sonoco has produced a 109.1% total return to shareholders. This compares favorably to a 108% return by the S&P 500, and 101% and 92.6% returns by the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index and S&P 400 Materials Index, respectively. Sonoco is a component of both of these indexes.
Contributing to Our Communities 
  • 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, allowing Sonoco employees to package more than 14,000 kits for hungry communities around the world.
Reducing Our Impact on the Environment
  • We reduced greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) by 6.2% in 2017.
  • We reduced landfill disposal by 9.4% in 2017.
  • 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. 

    Print Page

    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 14 fewer employees injured globally in 2017.
    • Our employees rated Sonoco with a 78% positive engagement score.
    • We retained 94.5% 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.