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Sustainability isn't just a word. It's the fiber of our company.

Sustainability is about meeting today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.

As a key part of our long-term business strategy, our sustainability platform is built on three pillars: People, Planet and Performance. By investing in our workforce and our communities, acting responsibly with regard to the environment, and delivering strong financial results and innovative packaging solutions for our customers, we continue to make our business more sustainable.

Reporting our progress.

Responsibility To Results, WestRock Company’s first sustainability report, covers the three pillars of our sustainability platform — People, Planet and Performance. This report also highlights specific strategies and projects that are driving sustainability throughout our operations around the world.

Download our Sustainability Report. View our Sustainability Report. View the Report Highlights. View the G4 Content Index.

People

Our best investments are in human capital.

Our co-workers are the reason for our success. We seek the best talent and foster a diverse, inclusive and safe workplace where new ideas and innovative thinking are encouraged and rewarded. We operate our business according to the highest ethical standards and treat all of our stakeholders—co-workers, customers, communities, suppliers and investors—with honesty, integrity and respect.

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Planet

When it comes to the environment, we're resourceful.

We’re dedicated to the responsible stewardship of natural resources, conscientious management of our global manufacturing facilities, and full compliance with all laws and regulations.

Environmental excellence starts with a strong commitment to compliance at all levels of management, and active teams and systems to manage environmental requirements. Our sustainability goals for water use, carbon emissions, recycling and energy efficiency are helping drive continuous improvement in our businesses around the world.

Performance

Sustainability is good business.

The best business practices are sustainable ones. Working safely, attracting high-potential talent, improving our environmental footprint, and giving back to our communities aren't just the right things to do—they are also good for our company’s bottom line.

We believe sustainability helps drive innovation and spurs fresh thinking that can lead to profitable growth. Sustainability is one of our motivations for practicing lean manufacturing to reduce waste. It also inspires us to adapt our renewable and recyclable paperboard and other packaging substrates to create products that are eco-friendly and profitable market leaders too.

By looking at sustainability opportunities and applying our unique insights on emerging packaging trends, we are able to deliver unparalleled sustainable packaging solutions to customers around the world.

View our 2016 Annual Report. Visit WestRock's Investors page.

Sustainable Fiber

Renew. Recover. Recycle

Paper is the original green packaging.

Our products made with virgin fiber—a renewable resource—begin with wood sourced from responsibly managed forests. We actively promote efforts to increase the amount of land certified to recognized forest management standards and have created one of the largest chain-of-custody certified fiber procurement organizations in the industry.

We also have one of the industry’s largest recycling networks, and reuse fiber-based packaging to manufacture a variety of new paperboard and 100-percent recycled products.

We believe the most sustainable approach to fiber sourcing is one that balances virgin and recycled materials.

Learn more about WestRock Recycling
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Fiber Sourcing

Sustainability is in our roots.

Our love of forests and our commitment to responsibly sourcing the wood fiber we use is embodied in what we do every day. Our team of forestry professionals has a long history of educating landowners and communities on the best practices for managing forest lands, and the research programs we support help ensure the health and productivity of our forests for years to come.

We’ve created one of the industry’s largest independently audited systems for tracking and ensuring that the wood harvested for use in our manufacturing operations is done in compliance with laws, with respect for traditional and human rights, and in a manner that protects forest ecosystems and regions of high conservation value.

WestRock’s fiber certification systems provide our company and yours with assurance that the paper and packaging products we make contain fiber from well-managed forests.

Our Goals

Measuring up.

We don’t just claim to be sustainable—we live it. That’s why we created a set of sustainability goals that reflect the business priorities and values of our company. These goals provide us with a roadmap for the future. Everyone—from the plant floors to our corporate offices—is charged with delivering on these goals. We will achieve our sustainability targets by collaborating with co-workers, customers, suppliers and others.

Accountability is a core value at WestRock, and we are committed to providing our stakeholders with regular and transparent reporting on our progress against each of our goals.

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Safety

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Safety

Our goal is to reduce our OSHA incident rate by 25% from a 2015 baseline by 2025 with the ultimate goal of becoming an injury-free workplace.

Keeping our 39,000 co-workers safe is our highest responsibility. “Safety First, Safety Always!” That’s how we aspire to operate our business around the world every day.

Current Status: Reduced our OSHA incident rate by 2.7%. This figure does not include acquisitions made in the second half of FY 2017.

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Financial Health

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Financial Health

Our goal is to maintain an investment grade credit rating.

We can’t be sustainable if we aren’t financially healthy. Focusing on people, planet and performance isn’t just the responsible thing to do, it will make WestRock an even more profitable business in the future.

Current Status: Maintained investment grade credit rating.

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Ethics

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Ethics

Our goal is to conduct annual ethics and compliance training for our salaried employees globally.

Integrity is one of our core values. We strive to operate our business in compliance with all laws and according to the highest standards of ethical conduct.

Current Status: 10,688 employees completed Code of Conduct training and our annual Compliance certification.

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Customers

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Customers

Our goal is to provide exceptional customer service and measure our performance through periodic customer satisfaction surveys.

We aspire to be the premier partner and unrivaled provider of winning packaging solutions. We are dedicated to providing our customers with innovative, sustainable products supported with exceptional customer service.

Current Status: Surveyed nearly 6500 customers, representing 52 countries and 10 languages.

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Diversity & Inclusion

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Diversity & Inclusion

Our goal is to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace by promoting participation in our employee resource groups.

Our co-workers are our greatest assets. We are committed to fostering a strong culture of inclusion, where every employee is valued for his or her unique contributions and perspective.

Current Status: Completed vision statement and established new Employee Resource Groups.

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Employee Engagement

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Employee Engagement

Our goal is to increase employee engagement levels and measure our performance through periodic surveys of our co-workers.

Having employees who give their best every day is what makes WestRock a safe, productive and profitable business. We are working to create an environment where all of our co-workers are engaged in their jobs and our organization.

Current Status: Completed company-wide employee engagement survey (88% participation rate). Measured four key indices on a scale of 1-5: Engaging talent=3.80; Enabling high performance=3.84; Managing employees effectively=3.84; Living the WestRock values=4.04.

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Communities

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Communities

Our goal is give back to the communities where we live and work through charitable contributions and volunteer activities.

We are deeply connected to the places where we live and work. We support local communities through charitable giving and encourage co-workers to volunteer their time and talents in ways that benefit their communities.

Current Status: Established the WestRock Foundation.

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Innovation

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Innovation

Our goal is to apply sustainable design principles to all of our product design work.

We believe sustainability drives innovation. Designing products that use renewable fiber, optimize the use of materials, and are recyclable at the end of their useful life benefits the environment and is good for business—our customers’ and ours.

Current Status: Established an Innovation Council.

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Supplier Conduct

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Supplier Conduct

Our goal is to ensure our suppliers comply with the WestRock Supplier Code of Conduct.

We are committed to ethical business practices, and we expect the same of our suppliers. We have created a supplier code of conduct to ensure our vendors comply with all applicable laws, act in a socially responsible manner, respect the environment, and provide us with safe products and services.

Current Status: Created WestRock’s Supplier Principles of Conduct.

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Supplier Diversity

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Supplier Diversity

Our goal is create a more diverse and robust supply chain by increasing our managed spend with minority-owned businesses and suppliers.

We are working to create a more diverse supply chain. We believe that increasing supplier diversity will create more routes for us to procure the goods and services that our operations rely on, in addition to providing fresh perspectives on our business.

Current Status: Expanded our supplier diversity program.

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Certified Office Products

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Certified Office Products

Our goal is to increase our purchases of certified office products.

We understand the value of forestry certifications. By increasing our internal purchases and use of certified office products we are demonstrating our belief that certification schemes play a big role in keeping our forests healthy and productive.

Current Status: Implemented tracking program for purchases of certified office products.

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Chain of Custody

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Chain of Custody

Our goal is to certify all of our wholly owned manufacturing facilities across the globe to internationally recognized chain-of-custody certification standards by 2018.

Chain-of-custody certification is a process that allows us to track the wood fiber that we purchase from the forest through our manufacturing facilities to our customers. This level of traceability through our supply chain provides greater transparency into the responsible sourcing of our wood fiber.

Current Status: Certified 99% of manufacturing facilities.

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Certified Fiber

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Certified Fiber

Our goal is to increase our purchases of virgin fiber from lands certified to credible forest management standards by 25% by 2025.

We support forest certification, a voluntary, third-party verified process by which forest landowners adhere to a prescribed set of sustainable forest management practices. Procuring wood fiber from these lands demonstrates our commitment to sustainable use of forest resources.

Current Status: No change from baseline.

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Certified Land

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Certified Land

Our goal is to promote increases in the amount of land that is certified to internationally recognized forest management standards through our landowner outreach activities.

We understand the land management needs of small, private forest owners and can provide them with resources to help them certify their properties to recognized international standards. Increasing the amount of certified land will create a more abundant supply of sustainable, virgin fiber for our operations.

Current Status: Certified or re-certified over 70,000 acres.

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Greenhouse Gases

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Greenhouse Gases

Our goal is to reduce our CO2e emissions by 20% per ton of production from a 2015 baseline by 2025.

WestRock is committed to acting as a responsible steward of the environment, and we are always looking for opportunities to improve the environmental footprint of our manufacturing operations. Our environmental commitment includes efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels.

Current Status: 2.7% increase in CO2e emissions per ton, 2.1% decrease in CO2e total emissions.

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Waste Recycling

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Waste Recycling

Our goal is to establish waste minimization teams at our largest facilities by the end of 2018 and use the ideas generated by these teams to establish site-specific numeric targets for solid waste reduction and/or increased waste recycling by 2020.

We have a legacy of recycling that dates back 100 years, and today we are one of North America’s largest recycling companies. We want to increase recycling in our business by forming active waste minimization teams at all of our containerboard and paperboard manufacturing facilities.

Current Status: Established waste reduction teams at 81% of our mills.

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Water Use

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Water Use

Our goal is to map the water use in our most water-intensive manufacturing operations by 2018 and develop water reduction plans for strategic watersheds by 2020.

Our largest facilities have manufacturing processes that use water for a variety of process purposes, and having a clean and abundant supply of water is critical to our operations. In order to protect local and regional water supplies, we intend to develop site-specific strategies for improving water conservation and increasing water recycling at our containerboard and paperboard mills.

Current Status: Completed water risk screening assessments for all of our mills.

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Energy Efficiency

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Energy Efficiency

Our goal is to increase energy efficiency of purchased fuels by 10% per ton of production from a 2015 baseline by 2025.

Our most energy intensive operations generate most of their own steam and electricity by using highly efficient combined heat and power systems fueled with renewable biomass.  However, we are always searching for ways to increase our energy efficiency in order to benefit both the environment and our bottom line.

Current Status: 5.1% decrease in energy efficiency per ton, 4.7% decrease in total fossil fuel use.

Download a summary of our goals.