DS Smith: Innovative recycler driving the circular economy

Case Study

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DS Smith buys used cardboard from large retailers and recycles it into new cardboard, saving over 360,000 trees from being cut down every year. We take a closer look at why their circular business model makes them a good fit for the Triodos Impact Investment Funds.

Innovative recycler

DS Smith is a leading supplier of sustainable packaging, manufactured mainly from recycled material, as well as providing recycling services.

The company has a circular business model, buying used cardboard from many of the largest retailers, recycling them into new cardboard, and delivering them to the customers' stores  - all in just 14 days.

Why they're a good fit for the Triodos Impact Investment Funds

  • Roughly 88% of the fibres used for corrugated board are manufactured from recycled sources. 
  • The company aims for 100% recycled or chain of custody certified papers by 2020. 
  • By 2030, the company aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30%, send zero waste to landfill and achieve zero water impact.
  • By recycling the paper fibres in cardboard, the company saves over 360,000 trees from being cut down every year. 
  • After an acquisition of Intertek DS Smith has entered the US market for the first time. The US market currently makes much less use of recycled paper. 
  • The company is leading a shift in mind-set from linear to circular, from supply chain to supply cycle. 

DS Smith contributes to the following UN Sustainable Development Goal:

Circular Economy

Triodos Investment Management invests in seven themes that are instrumental in the transition toward a sustainable economy.

Based on these themes, we select companies that actively contribute to a sustainable economy through their products, services and processes. DS Smith contributes to the Circular Economy theme.

This encompasses a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing energy and material loops.

Re-use of materials and products, reduction of the use of (finite) resources and the recycling of materials are key in contributing to a circular economy.  

We invest in companies that follow the principles of circular economics, including efficient waste management and product-as-a-service business models.

About the fund

Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund aims to generate positive impact and competitive financial returns from a concentrated portfolio of small- and mid-cap companies providing solutions for Triodos’ seven identified sustainable transition themes. The fund actively engages with companies to drive sustainability at Board level,  through collaborative dialogue and active use of shareholder responsibilities.

You can invest in the funds directly or via the tax-efficient Triodos Stocks & Shares ISA.

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