Company of the Month

May 2017: Smurfit Kappa

By Business & Finance
13 June 2017
May 2017: Smurfit Kappa
A Smurfit Kappa recycled paper mill

May saw paper packaging giant Smurfit Kappa announce a new Senior Independent Director as the company is on target to reach its ambitious 2020 sustainability goals.

Smurfit Kappa is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of paper-based packaging products, with operations in Europe and the Americas.

In May the Group announced that Roberto Newell has been appointed as Senior Independent Director following the conclusion of its AGM.

The FTSE 100 company employs around 45,000 people in approximately 370 production sites across 34 countries, and reported a revenue of €8.2bn in 2016.

It was also announced in May that the Group is on its way to meeting its ambitious 2020 sustainability goals.

In the decade since it started formally measuring its sustainability impact, Smurfit Kappa reached full Chain of Custody certification for its entire raw material supply chain.

At the same time it has cut CO₂ emissions by 23% and the quality of its discharge water improved by 32%, both on track for its 2020 target of 25% and 33% respectively.

Smurfit Kappa’s sustainability report shows that over the past ten years the packaging giant has also achieved a significant reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill and has invested €60m in water treatment plants.

Smurfit Kappa is also celebrating over ten years of investment in scientific and social projects, with over €30m being invested.

Commenting at the time, Group CEO Tony Smurfit said: “Smurfit Kappa is playing its part in creating a sustainable future by building a profitable business based on sustainable principles. We will continue to pioneer innovative ways to be sustainable to create value for both our customers and shareholders.”


Smurfit Kappa has also launched an eco-friendly new type of packaging for motor oil.

The Bag-in-Box protects and conserves the oil and the product has been has specially designed for the auto industry.

The recyclable product delivers a 9% space reduction, compared to a plastic pail and around 85% less material compared to equivalent rigid plastic bottles.

Thierry Minaud, CEO of the Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box, commented: “The most recent disruptive innovation in motor oil packaging is more than 30 years old. Now it’s time to move to a more environmentally-friendly packaging, which Bag-in-Box definitely is.”

We will continue to pioneer innovative ways to be sustainable to create value for both our customers and shareholders

More recently, the company has expanded its global network of Experience Centres by opening a new facility in Dallas, Texas.

The new Experience Centre is the first centre to be opened in The Americas and the 17th of its kind for the company.


The company has an unrivalled portfolio of paper-packaging solutions is enhanced through the benefits of integration, with optimal paper design, logistics, timeliness of service, and packaging plants sourcing most of the raw materials from the company’s own paper mills.

Its products, which are 100% renewable and produced sustainably, improve the environmental footprint of the company’s customers.

Smurfit Kappa’s corporate timeline is filled with historic moments: there the group’s evolution is chronicled from general box-makers Jefferson Smurfit in 1934 via its Irish Stock Exchange listing in 1964, the merger with Kappa Packaging in 2005, the close of the Gary McGann era in 2015 and the appointment of Tony Smurfit.

Business & Finance, Company of the Month

Business Person the MonthBusiness & Finance, in association with KPMG, recognises excellence in business through the ‘Company of the Month’ award. The Company of the Month award recognises the company which best demonstrates outstanding business leadership, sustainable growth, innovative strategy, strong financial returns and employee development.