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.
With the establishment of our sustainability platform in 2015 we committed to being transparent in reporting our progress as we move forward. Our sustainability report is prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards, and we invite you to learn more about sustainability at WestRock and our journey to reach our 2025 sustainability goals.
People, Planet, Performance
Advancing Sustainable Packaging
The key takeaway: WestRock is committed to advancing sustainable packaging.
Connecting Innovation and Sustainability: A Q&A with Jim Caudill
Hear how Jim and his team are exploring several exciting sustainable packaging innovations
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: 1.4 percent reduction from 2015 baseline. Additionally, we reduced serious injuries, which we call life changing events, by 19 percent from FY17 to FY18
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 since the formation of WestRock in 2015
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: 10,700 employees completed annual online Code of Conduct training and compliance certification in FY17. 12,600 employees, 98 percent of those required, completed online training and certification in FY18.
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: Continued increase in Gallup customer engagement score and percentage of fully engaged customers in FY17 and FY18
Diversity & Inclusion
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: No change from baseline
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: Surveyed 33,000 employees with an 88 percent employee response rate in FY17. Conducted Pulse survey in FY18 with an 86 percent response rate
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: Employee relief fund provided_270 grants totaling more than $560,000 in FY17 and 390 grants totaling more than $1.1 million in FY18
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: Launched 18 new products with defined sustainability benefits in FY17 and 26 in FY18
Our goal is to ensure our suppliers comply with the WestRock Supplier Principles 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: Developed an online affirmation process for our third party suppliers
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: Established relationships with 2,500 diverse suppliers resulting in a total spend of $840 million
Certified Office Products
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: We changed corporate office suppliers and are reevaluating the goal
Chain of Custody
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: 85.8 percent of global facilities are chain of custody certified
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: 3.6 percent increase in certified fiber purchases since 2015
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: More than 350,000 acres certified since 2015
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: 5.8 percent intensity reduction; nine percent absolute reduction since 2015
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: Waste minimization efforts are ongoing
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 reduction plans for mills in Virginia and Florida that use groundwater in 2018
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: Four percent decrease in energy efficiency since 2015 due to changes such as replacing coal with natural gas
- Sustainable Fiber
- Fiber Sourcing
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.