Improving the environment and inspiring future generations
Helping our communities is a key part of our commitment to sustainability.
DS Smith sites do incredible work to engage in their local communities. The last 12 months have seen our sites open their factory doors to school educational trips, our employees teach in classrooms, organise litter picks, support food banks and much more.
We set a target in our 2018 sustainability report to engage 100% of our sites with this work, but as we have evolved, our focus has been less about simply hitting the target and more about ensuring we generate real value for our surrounding communities. This is an important pivot in our attitude and culture overall as a business, and one which we have certainly seen shift significantly as a result of the recent Coronavirus lockdown.
We are delighted to announce that we have achieved our target of all DS Smith sites engaging in community programmes. Having only started our community programme less than two years ago, this is considerable progress.
The global community programme continues to be facilitated by local budgets which have been set aside specifically for community activities only. There is a balance to be struck between strategy and responding to genuine need. However, most of the time we continue to focus on activities which fall into two key categories:
1. Environment: supporting the improvement and protection of the environment
2. Future generations: inspiring and educating future generations in a growing digital world by using our industry expertise and knowledge
At DS Smith, we are just at the beginning of this journey and we look forward to announcing our new ambition for community activities as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic.