Importance Corporate Environmental Responsibility


This paper constructs on the intrigues of environmentally sustainable practices, and environmental friendly conduct which spearheads companies in pursuits to restore the dignity and authentic beauty of the environment; and set free the planet from the challenges facing it for the good of the present and future generations (sustainable development). The paper harnesses the DS Smith plc. as a case study representing such conservation efforts following various environmental impacts caused. The paper will evaluate the company’s environmental sustainability strategy and performance while applying relevant academic concepts, frameworks, and theories to embed the critical evaluation.

Summary of DS Smith Plc.’s Key Environmental Impacts

DS Smith plc, like many company impacts the environment in a number of ways. The company exerts various pressures on the environment through its emissive processes which depletes the stratospheric ozone layer through carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Besides, DS Smith plc leads to the alteration of the biosphere integrity through constant and inconsiderate consumption of natural resources from the environment; leading to environmental degradation. Moreover, the prospects of chemical pollution and new entities release resulting from factory emissions and products transportation results in climate change which is a severe ecological crisis facing the planet. Ocean acidification, freshwater use, land use system and biosphere integrity are other crucial areas attached and impacted by DS Smith processes; and which therefore needs special attention to mitigate or prevent the emergence of dire consequences on the earth (Welford, 2016).


According to “Our Common Future,” environmental sustainability refers to “meeting the resource and service needs of current and future generations without compromising the health of the ecosystems that provide them.” The definition of DS Smith’s environmental sustainability strategy is anchored on the lifelong intention to reduce environmental impacts from hitting the planet. The company deems ecological sustainability as a condition of isocracy, resilience, and interconnectedness with other sustainability pillars (Goodland 1995). The strategic priorities of DS Smith Plc. are to lead the way in sustainability by spearheading sequential sustainable supply cycle solutions to its processes; and utilizing materials responsibly within and without the production spectrum as in the diagram below(Robbins, 2010).

Global Railway versus Air

The sustainability objectives of packaging users are demanding DS Smith packaging assist firms to realize their aspirations whether the three pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental or social) (Hacking, and Guthrie, 2006).

DS Smith is internationally recognised for its innovation and quality packaging solutions. The products the company produces can improve storage and transporting efficiency, excite retail presentation and improve sales. The company uses fibre to produce packaging materials based on the ease to renew corrugated systems. The following strategies have motivated the company’s environmental sustainability strategy which states “Lead the way in sustainability”

Global Railway versus Air

Through the company’s packaging programme, which reflects on technologies in papermaking, pack design and pack production, the company provides the right corrugated pack with no more fibre than necessary concept which boosts environmental sustainability (Robbins, 2010).

Design tools optimise the fibre content for the package which leads into proper management of fibre and resource. Besides, through the aggregate operations of DS Smith Packaging, DS Recycling, and DS Smith Paper, the company has become significant expertise in each aspect of paper fibre. The know-how induces high performance recycled packaging for customers, utilizing no more material than necessary (Elliott, 2012). However, the technologies have not embraced a full recycling process of materials thus some wastes are permitted into the environment.

Carbon Footprint

The levels of carbon footprints produced by the company are a threat to climate variability and change in the world. Through application of systematic PackRight business tools, the company packaging functions in conjunction with customers to alleviate unnecessary carbon footprints (Thomas, 2009). Corrugated packaging designs assist the supply chains to work favour of environmentalism by reducing or eliminating product damage and wastes. Active packaging safeguards the cash and carbon invested in each product. However, despite the efforts there are gaps during the transportation of industrial products with lorries releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This can be achieved by, fewer pallets, and Lorries off the road contribute to the basketry of low carbon emissions since corrugated design delivers the best use of space. Besides, less storage and warehousing can reduce associated energy consumptions (Griggs et al., 2013).

The well lain recycling infrastructure for corrugated packaging by the company boosts environmental sustainability pursuits. More than 80% of corrugated packaging in the country is recycled which enable the paper fibre to be reused severally. In the European continent, DS Smith Recycling takes care of about 5.4 million tonnes of recovered paper annually. In the UK, DS Smith runs market-leading businesses, which inspires the recycling deal (Inderwildi, and King, 2012). The company’s Packaging logistics yields corrugated packaging, with the DS Smith Recycling, collects it from retailers, industrial plants and other sources, and DS Smith Paper converts the old packaging to new materials which are stronger, recycled and high quality. The company should technologically advance to assimilate more wastes into recycling.

Global Railway versus Air

DS Smith employs a range of measures to gauge and measure her sustainability parameters including; Third-party verification and assurance Key performance indicators Certification and audit including SEDEX, PEFC, FCF, and Ecovadis Social and environmental impact and risk assessment Supply chain management DS Smith plc works to produce goods and systems meeting environmental requirements stipulated in regulatory statutes and standards. By implementing a Quality Management System that conforms to ISO 9001, it is apparent the company sets its operations highest standards of quality management, encompassing a robust customer focus and effort towards renewed improvement. This is especially crucial when working with the pharmaceutical industry, as it is

susceptible to error or contamination thus safeguarding patients from buying products which are dangerous and ineffective. Besides, DS Smith takes cognizance of the premise that contractors and others operate in a hazardous environment. The company in response to this premise responds by struggling to mitigate the hazards through a risk-based approach which uses hierarchical control measures which it continuously improves. The company employees are essential in ensuring a safe operating environment as the company strives to address any emerging concerns (Foxon, 2013).
The company has been committed to its policy of disclosing her environmental risks and opportunities with complete transparency. The company reports on its climate change impacts to the Carbon Disclosure Project. Besides, the company is a member of the London Stock Exchange FTSE4Good index which is a global responsibility performance benchmark (Silvestre, 2015). Since the aspects of safety and health of the workers touches of environmental sustainability, Mol (2010), observes the company has relatively done well in this sector. Part of the strategy for leading the industry in this area is the formulation and implementation of sound in class management systems, as provided by the international standard OHSAS 18001. The company has large production sites, where it continuously assesses workplace challenges and risks and implements preventative measures as part of a daily ritual (Mol, 2010).
As a manufacturer of corrugated packaging, environmental protection is at the core of DS Smith’s processes. The company is sensitive to fostering change in the pharmaceutical market towards green solutions. International standard ISO 14001 assist the company in its production

As a manufacturer of corrugated packaging, environmental protection is at the core of DS Smith’s processes. The company is sensitive to fostering change in the pharmaceutical market towards green solutions. International standard ISO 14001 assist the company in its production facilities to lower waste generation and disposal, better resource efficiency and lower down costs, which in turn we can coincide with customers and their operations (Eden, 1997).

(Morelli, 2011) presents the principle ofresource saving as a long-term solution to most of the ecological challenges the planet faces. The principle not only prevents, but also reduces and mitigates the emission and release of unnecessary wastes into the environment.Companies should aim to integrate the company to their various activities based on that premise. DS Smith Plc. is striving hard to embrace the Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle principle. The company advocates for the safe production of goods which are environmentally friendly, and which do not cause harm to human entities. The company preaches against the unlicensed production; and welcomes international oversight authorities to inspect her processes. The company disapproves single-use plastic groceries and works towards a consistent commitment to synthesize biodegradable products (Goodland, 1999).

In the realm of Reduce, DS Smith should endeavour to minimize the release of wastes or energy consumption patterns used in production continuum. By so doing, the amount of costs incurred in accruing energy is lowered and thereby indirectly saving the planet from overconsumption of her resources. In its processes, the products of DS Smith Company designs should base on the principle of “Repurpose” where the packages manufactured to be used to serve wide ranges of purposes. Concerning Recycling, the company is continually working to harness all her wastes back into reproduction through the recycling process. This will empty the environment the wastes generated and disposed of, and indirectly cutting short the atrocities of carbon in the atmosphere (Morelli, 2011).

DS Smith and Sustainability Issues

According to Butler (2009), DS Smith is expanding by acquisition but remains moderate and committed to lowering emissions accompanying the production and operational processes. The company has been setting targets towards ensuring a reduction in carbon emission. Positive progress is underway towards 30% reduction of carbon emissions by the year 2030. In the year 2017, the company reported a 6.7% reduction in carbon emission per tonne in production. Besides, the company also said that 79 out of 198 manufacturing stations reduced their total carbon emissions. The success of the company is embedded on the ability to integrate different factors to work as a unit in order to maximize returns by overshadowing the market competitors.

As demonstrated in the above diagram, Porter maintains that companies should base their sustainability strategies based on the premises of cost effectiveness and differentiation. DS Smith remains unique and differentiated in her ways of operation(Palmer et al., 2016). The company sticks to openly report emissions reduction reports through their published reports, reputable external frameworks. In 2018, DS Smith took pride in retaining Management B in CDP Climate Change category (Silvestre, 2015). The transparency in reporting not only benefitsthe company, but it also reduces emissions in the customer’s supply chains, thus assisting them in meeting their targets. The company carries out research to come up with technologies to improve on emissions of waste, improve efficiency and reduce running costs (Palmer et al., 2016).

As demonstrated above, DS Smith Company is striving towards ensuring a state of harmony between production and the environment. This paper proposes the following submissions as pivotal in complementing the company’s pursuits towards sustainability; Increase communication efforts by creating a sustainability website intended to act as a platform for the dissemination of sustainability knowledge to the general public. Sustainability awareness will contribute to the creation of an awareness forum of various challenges facing the world, with possible solutions. Make a public commitment to support environmental sustainability, global energy management, and conservation initiative by adopting and encouraging the public to make use of energy saving gadgets. Promote the integration of sustainability principles into appropriate areas of the company processes, and encourage and coordinate activities accommodated by sustainability. Carry out continuous chemical life cycle analysis to establish the long-term impacts of chemicals and industrial effluents into the environment. There is a need for the quantity and quality of data needed in chemical lifecycle analysis for the identification of general trends in the changes of environmental quality (Thomas, 2016). Intensify the application of the 5Rs principles of conservation

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