Sustainability is the fiber of our company.
Building on a legacy in sustainable forestry, we are advancing sustainable packaging—reimagining how to connect people to products in a way that is right-sized, renewable, recyclable and compostable.
We connect people to products at every step—from our fiber sourcing team, paper scientists, packaging engineers and designers, manufacturing operations and recycling professionals. Together we make packaging as strong, efficient and sustainable as possible.
Watch to learn more about WestRock’s sustainability story.
- People and Communities
- A better Planet
- Our Customers
People and Communities
A better Planet
Reporting Our Progress
As we strengthen our partnerships with customers and communities, we are committed to transparency in reporting. Our sustainability reports are prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards.
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 2025.
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: 81% of global facilities are chain of custody certified
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 teammates to volunteer their time and talents in ways that benefit their communities.
Current Status: Employee Relief Fund provided more than 1000 grants totaling $2.4 million to WestRock team members since 2005
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: Three percent decrease in energy efficiency 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: 15 percent intensity reduction and 21 percent absolute reduction since 2015
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 27 new products with defined sustainability benefits in FY2019
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 teammates 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: Recordable Incident Rate increased 14% from 2015 baseline
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: $900 million spent with diverse suppliers in calendar 2019
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: Developed site specific water reduction plans for largest water users in VA & FL - met 2018 and 2020 aspects of water goal
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: Net decrease of 4.7% in the purchase of virgin fiber from our 2015 baseline.
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 514,000 acres certified since 2015.
- 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.