Along with recovered paper, wood fibres are the most important raw material for paper making and Smurfit Kappa UK, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of paper based packaging solutions is the first UK manufacturer to achieve Chain of Custody (CoC) certification from the World’s leading Internationally recognised certification agencies, for its entire UK corrugated and paper manufacturing capacity.
The successful two-year programme of Chain of Custody certification is one of the first to take an integrated – company wide – approach. The programme commenced in April 2008 and encompasses Smurfit Kappa’s UK major operations which encompass two recycled paper mills, 15 corrugated facilities and paper mills, including large integrated factories, sheet plants as well as specialist plants for Sheetfeeding and paper printing. This integrated approach to certification is highly innovative and a first for the UK corrugated sector enabling Smurfit Kappa to offer its customers fully certified packaging solutions on over 95% of its products.
The programme involved intensive independent auditing of Smurfit Kappa’s Forestry Stewardship Chain of Custody at a number of its corrugated facilities and it’s new UK Chain of Custody Office in Liverpool.
As producers of paper for use in its own manufacturing of corrugated sheet, Chain of Custody certification is highly important for Smurfit Kappa’s customers in tracking certified material through the paper and board production process – from the forest to the consumer, including all successive stages of processing, transformation, manufacturing and distribution.
The natural environment provides Smurfit Kappa with all the raw material for its products and the company has a stated commitment to the principle of sustainable development and the introduction of industry leading manufacturing best practices. Chain of Custody certification is a major step forward in delivering those principles and follows the award of Carbon Trust Standard to the organization in April 2010 in recognition of its carbon reduction programme.
Martin Ferrari, Sales and Marketing Director UK & Ireland, Smurfit Kappa Paper UK says: "This commitment to Chain of Custody certification is highly relevant to paper and pulp production and with our UK Recycled mills now certified alongside our Kraft mill at Piteå in Sweden (Europe’s largest Kraftliner producer) Smurfit Kappa are able to offer our customers the highest levels of certainty concerning sustainability compliance"
Ian Naylor, Strategic Development Director for Smurfit Kappa UK was responsible for overseeing the packaging aspect of the programme and comments: "Sustainability is a far reaching issue that affects every corner of our business and we are proud to be the first UK paper and packaging manufacturer to attain this wide ranging span of certification. It is far more than just being able to apply approval logo’s to our products, our approach is to deliver a credible guarantee to our customers and support them in front of their customers (consumers) by confirming that all packaging supplied by Smurfit Kappa UK use materials originating from well managed forests, controlled sources, reclaimed materials, or a mixture of these".
Certification has already brought significant benefits to Smurfit Kappa UK by accelerating the development of IT applications in support of Chain of Custody compliance, with online, real-time reporting throughout the manufacturing and procurement process, in logistics with the development of comprehensive segregated and quarantined storage of recycled and certified paper stocks and supply chain management of external paper suppliers for purchasing certified raw material.
Smurfit Kappa believes CoC certification should become the industry standard for companies buying, processing and selling wood based products – it demonstrates to consumers that a business operates a responsible material sourcing policy.
As part of a Global organisation, it is intended that the Smurfit Kappa UK experience will be used as a template for gaining certification across other Smurfit Kappa operations throughout the world.
Independent certification was carried out by Woodmark the Soil Association’s international forestry and chain of custody certification scheme for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) .
Charles Thwaites MBE Executive Director, FSC UK commented:
"FSC UK congratulates Smurfit Kappa on the tremendous achievement of being awarded FSC certification across its 15 corrugated facilities and other specialist plants. We know this has taken two years of hard work, requiring dedicated buy-in from staff at all levels of the company. By using materials shown to have originated from responsibly managed forests, Smurfit Kappa not only demonstrates its own considerable commitment to sustainability, but its example will doubtless encourage others to take up the challenge. The very survival of the world’s forests rely on the brave decisions taken by companies such as Smurfit Kappa."
And, PEFC’s National Secretary Alun Watkins who heads up PEFC in the UK said:
"PEFC UK is delighted that Smurfit Kappa has joined the fast growing number of UK companies demonstrating their commitment to sourcing certified paper and packaging products by achieving PEFC chain of custody certification. With over half of the world’s certified forests now sustainably managed through PEFC-endorsed certification systems, the PEFC scheme has greatly increased availability of certified fibre available to companies committed to the responsible sourcing of raw materials".