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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.

We don’t just claim to be sustainable—we live it. That’s why our sustainability goals reflect the business priorities and values of our company. Our 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 in collaboration with one another, customers, suppliers and others.

Reporting our progress.

Our sustainability platform is built on our commitment to people and communities, to our customers and to a better planet. A large part of that commitment includes being transparent in our reporting. Our sustainability reports are prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. We invite you to learn more about sustainability at WestRock and our journey to sustainability leadership.

Report

VIEW OUR 2019 GRI Report

Our sustainability platform is built on our commitment to people and communities, to our customers and to a better planet.

Click to view the report

Committed to...

  • People and Communities
  • A better Planet
  • Our Customers

People and Communities

Our best investments are in human capital.

Our teammates 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—teammates, customers, communities, suppliers and investors—with honesty, integrity and respect.

A better 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.

Our Customers

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.

Visit our Investor Relations Page.
Article

Advancing Sustainable Packaging

The key takeaway: WestRock is committed to advancing sustainable packaging.

Advancing Sustainable Packaging
Article

Connecting Innovation and Sustainability: A Q&A with Jim Caudill

Hear how Jim and his team are exploring several exciting sustainable packaging innovations

Innovation and Sustainability
Article

Increasing the availability of foodservice packaging recycling

Increasing the availability of foodservice packaging recycling

Foodservice Packaging
Article

The Power of Partnership Through the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection Program

The Power of Partnership Through the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection Program

Power of Partnership

Our Goals

Measuring up.

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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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: 81% of global facilities are chain of custody certified

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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 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

 

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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: Three percent increase in energy efficiency since 2015

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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: 15 percent intensity reduction and 21 percent absolute reduction since 2015

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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: Launched 27 new products with defined sustainability benefits in FY2019

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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 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

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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: $900 million spent with diverse suppliers in calendar 2019

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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: Developed site specific water reduction plans for largest water users in VA & FL - met 2018 and 2020 aspects of water goal

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Sustainable Fiber

  • Sustainable Fiber
  • Fiber Sourcing

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

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.

View our forestry and fiber certifications Learn more about our Forest Resources team and landowner resources