Innovative recycler

DS Smith is a leading supplier of sustainable packaging. DS Smith’s core business is the manufacturing of corrugated packaging that is largely made of recycled material. In addition, the company manufactures paper and plastic packaging, and provides recycling services. DS Smith aims to become the leader in recycled packaging for consumer goods. DS Smith has a circular business model. Through its recycling businesses, the company buys used cardboard from many of the largest retailers. The old cardboards are used as input to create new cardboards. It takes only 14 days for the new cardboards made from recycled materials to be delivered at the customers stores again.

Impact investment rationale 

  • Recycling is an important part of the company’s business model; roughly 88 per cent of the fibres used for corrugated board are manufactured from recycled sources. 
  • The company aims for 100 per cent recycled or chain of custody certified papers by 2020. 
  • By recycling the paper fibres in cardboard, the company saves over 360,000 trees of 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 in the 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

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.

Download our whitepaper to learn more about our seven transition themes.

Explore our Impact Equities and Bonds impact report ‘Moving the needle’ to find out more about our role as impact investor. The report presents our 2019 results in a context of numbers and stories and showcases our mission to make money work for positive change.