/Sustainability integrated into each fiber
Smurfit Kappa

Sustainability integrated into each fiber

Smurfit Kappa is one of the world’s leading suppliers of paper-based packaging, with sustainability central to its circular business model. The company challenged its logistics and reduced CO2 emissions on transport by an incredible 9.3 million kg.

Smurfit Kappa’s goal is to drive positive change in all parts of the value chain, from sustainable purchasing and minimizing the environmental impact associated with the business to reduce the ecological effects on own customers and consumers.

It makes sense from a business perspective

A shift from a linear to a circular global economy is central to dealing with sustainability challenges. This shift will create new material efficiency opportunities, social inclusion, and creative approaches to products and services.

For Smurfit Kappa, a circular approach makes sense from a business perspective. The company replaces the natural resources they use. The products contain 75% recycled fiber, and materials are recycled where possible.

“If we take care of the environment, the environment takes care of us”

Smurfit Kappa was founded in 1934 as a manufacturer of cardboard boxes and crates for the Irish market. The company’s integrated production system, supplies of raw materials from its forest properties and paper mills, ensures its operation in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.

Illustration: Smurfit Kappa

Smurfit Kappa has very high sustainability goals for their business and invests heavily in recycling facilities to reuse fibers in paper production. The philosophy is: “If we take care of the environment, the environment takes care of us.”

From production to reuse

The Norpapp factory in Hønefoss produces packaging products for well-known consumer goods suppliers, such as Pepsico and Maarud, with product packaging.

The grocery store functions as a local collection point for used packaging. From the collection point, Norsk Gjenvinning, serves as the collection hub in the value chain. Here, the packaging is prepared and packed for the next step on the journey. Finished containers with used packaging are then transported by boat from the port of Oslo to the Netherlands.

9.3 million kg in reduced CO2 emissions

In 2017, Smurfit Kappa challenged its transport solutions to the recycling factory in the Netherlands.

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Sustainable logistics from production to market

The solution was the sea route from the Port of Oslo to Rotterdam. The transport then continues on inland waterways to the factory in Roermond. The last 700 meters from the quay edge to the factory are by truck.

Traditionally, the packaging had been transported by truck to the Netherlands, a transport stage of 1,500 km and an average CO2 emission of 3,700 kg per shipment.

Inland waterways in the Netherlands
Photo: Samskip

Approximately 80,000 tonnes of used packaging, corresponding to 3,000 containers, are transported annually by sea to Rotterdam. This logistics change gives Smurfit Kappa an annual reduction of 4.2 million truck km and reduced CO2 emissions of an incredible 9.3 million kg.

The transition to the sea also opened up the possibility of increased weight per consignment, which has resulted in a 10% reduction in the number of consignments compared with road transport.

To ensure sufficient capacity and flexibility in its supply chain, Smurfit Kappa uses several suppliers of multimodal transport solutions to and from Norway. One of these is Hollandske Samskip.

Smurfit Kappa and their supplier in Norway, Norsk Gjenvinning, focusing on the environment and sustainability, represents a customer group that suits Samskip spot-on. They are an excellent example of how it is possible to adopt a supply chain to alternative modalities without compromising delivery capabilities. It’s all about good planning, from start to finish.”
Are Gråthen, Regional Director – Norway at Samskip

Through its multimodal transport network in Europe, Samskip offers several weekly sailings and departures from Norwegian ports and terminals. If it is urgent, Samskip utilizes the railway, while the-not-so urgent cargo (usually) goes by sea to Rotterdam. After unloading the containers at the destination place, the boxes are reloaded with goods to other destinations in Norway or elsewhere in Europe.