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Sonoco announces sustainability progress in 2012-13 corporate responsibility report

Global packaging company Sonoco has summarized sustainability progress in its latest 2012-2013 corporate responsibility report.

Sonoco president and CEO Jack Sanders said the company is developing a new $75m biomass cogeneration system at its Hartsville, South Carolina, manufacturing complex in the US.

"Powered by wood wastes from regional logging activity, the new cogeneration system will produce low-cost energy and steam for our paperboard mills, replacing inefficient coal boilers," Sanders added.

In its report, Sonoco noted that Sonoco Recycling reduced wastes from its US packaging customers’ facilities by nearly 44,000 metric tons (mt) in 2012, besides enabling seven customer plants achieve landfill-free status.

The report highlighted that as more natural gas was used to fuel its boilers, normalized direct GHG emissions were minimized by 9.8% in 2012 from company facilities.

Sonoco’s European affiliate Sonoco Alcore, the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK, opened a recycling facility at the company’s Stainland, West Yorkshire, paperboard mill during the period.

The facility can collect up to 25,000mt of UK paper cartons along with an estimated 3,000mt of paper coffee cups from London’s Heathrow Airport, which will later on be turned into uncoated recycled paperboard.

In 2012, landfill waste from company facilities was reduced by nearly 12,000mt, and 31 company plants reached landfill-free status by diverting 95% or more of waste from landfills.