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Social Responsibility

Community focused

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

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 $3.0 million to nonprofit organizations around the world in 2015. 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.

"Our employees know that at every performance review, they are not only evaluated on their numbers, but also on their values." - Sonoco President and CEO Jack Sanders


TEACH Foundation

Through its TEACH Foundation, the Sonoco Foundation is improving academic achievement and personal development of elementary students in Hartsville, S.C. More than 6,500 students from four area elementary schools participated in the Comer School Development Program. On average, students increased reading scores by 12-points and math scores by 14-points on Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing.

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In After 180 Days: Hartsville/A Community Perspective, members of the Hartsville, S.C., community reflect on the local premiere of 180 Days: Hartsville. The PBS documentary, which aired nationally in March 2015, focused on a fifth grader struggling with behavioral issues throughout the 2013-14 school year, and the lives of educators, families and business leaders working hard to improve education for children below the poverty line in Hartsville, S.C. Sonoco invested $5 million through the TEACH Foundation to close the achievement gap in Hartsville’s public school system, and Hartsville now boasts a 92% graduation rate.

Interspersed throughout the documentary, glimpses of key community outreach and involvement lay a foundation, but the documentary never delves deeply into what truly makes Hartsville the unique place it is, or concretely demonstrates how the Comer School Development Program (SDP) set into motion the success that ultimately ends the full, two-hour program. The video above not only focuses how Hartsville is using the SDP to develop the whole child, but also includes an overview of a unique public-private partnership (PULSE) that involves a $5 million investment in Hartsville students in the Darlington County School District.

Sonoco Cares in the Community
Sonoco Cares, a team created by Sonoco employees, continues to grow its philanthropic work, including mentoring young minds, volunteering at area soup kitchens, donating to the Harvest Hope Food Bank, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, adopting Christmas families, supporting the Humane Society and more.

Atlanta Revitalization

Significant revitalization efforts have been underway in southern Atlanta, Georgia, where one of our recycling facilities is located. In order to reflect the improvements that are occurring in the community, Sonoco upgraded the facility grounds and began a recycling education program for local school children. Working with the South Atlanta Civic League, a group leading the area's revitalization efforts, significant improvements were made to our facility to match those of the community, contributing to the overall beautification of the Historic South Atlanta area.

American Red Cross

Sonoco provided support totaling $95,000 to the American Red Cross, including funding to aid disaster relief following earthquakes affecting Nepal and floods in South Carolina.

Supplier Sustainability Awards

Sonoco’s supplier sustainability awards program, now in its third year, recognizes suppliers who demonstrate clear differentiation from their competitors with measurable, strategic, and transparent social, diversity, and environmental responsibility efforts. Nearly one-third of Sonoco’s top suppliers submitted entries, and awards were given to American Packaging Corporation, GCP Technologies, Mondi Group, Prolamina Corporation and Staples.

Supplier Diversity: Sonoco awarded “Top Corporation Award” by Greater Women’s Business Council

The Greater Women’s Business Council recognized Sonoco with its Top Corporation Award, which honors “leading companies that have demonstrated a solid commitment and passion for engaging, inspiring and empowering supplier diversity and procurement, and a demonstrated track-record of leading and shaping futures by empowering women today.”

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Throughout our history, Sonoco has pursued sustainability by balancing and integrating environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic performance within our business strategy and culture. We believe that to achieve our goals relating to sustainability, it is critical that we maintain a capable, qualified, competitive, and diverse team of individuals and suppliers.

Diversity is a key component of Sonoco’s corporate strategy. Our female representation is above industry average in the U.S., and our minority representation has increased almost 16 % since the beginning of 2012.


“I believe that diversity makes good companies, great, because it is a collective decision to better yourself. It is not limited to one business or product mix, but across all spectrums of our company. When diversity is embedded in your culture, like it is at Sonoco, it truly becomes foundational to your success.”- Sonoco President and CEO Jack Sanders

Sonoco’s Diversity Council, which has been in existence since 2003, consists of six sub-groups designed to aid in the recruitment, recognition and representation of diverse groups throughout the organization. Led by a senior executive, Sonoco understands that diversity is foundational to the success of our company.

From Recruitment and Networking teams, to our Work/Life Management, Cultural Awareness, Young Professionals and Veterans teams, Sonoco’s workforce reflects our global customers – be it by gender, ethnicity, class, culture, sexual orientation or thought.