Working with Mondelēz on bringing circular thinking to snacking

DS Smith has recently collaborated with one the world’s largest snacking companies and a  key customer, Mondelēz, in a five-week Innovation Sprint with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF).

During these 5 weeks of Circular Economy Innovation Sprint, both partners worked together to identify opportunities to create customisable circular packaging solutions for Mondelēz’s co-packaging operation; creating a long-term roadmap as part of our circular-ready partnership.


The focus lays on the core principles of the circular economy model; reduce-reuse-recycle. The aim of the sprint was to design out waste and pollution and keep materials in use for longer, which in turn protects natural resources. These principles will also help Mondelēz achieve its own mission, ensuring its products are not only ‘right for people but also right for the planet’.

Our designers have recently undergone training in DS Smith’s Circular Design Principles created in partnership with EMF. These translate the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s circular economy principles into practical techniques and tools for creating sustainable packaging which were applied during the sprint.


The combined DS Smith – Mondelēz team, who took part in this five-week sprint, includes three Mondelēz employees who were joined by four DS Smith colleagues from the design and supply chain teams.  

The findings and proposed actions which arose from the sprint were presented to an extended team from both parties including our own Packaging CEO Stefano Rossi and Juergen Leisse, President of Central Europe, EU Central Sales & Global Licensing at Mondelēz International  .

This is just one example of how we are bringing to life the 4th Pillar of our newly updated customer promise: Circular Ready. We  are applying our Circular Design Principles in the packaging design process to help our customers prepare for the circular economy, focusing on five areas:

  • Recyclability: Delivering 100% recyclable fibre-based packaging solutions
  • Fibre optimisation: Optimising every fibre for every supply chain
  • Plastic replacement: Design solutions to replace problem plastics
  • Reuse: Increasing reuse through new designs and innovations
  • Closed loop: Developing closed loop solutions.

Stefano Rossi, Divisional CEO for Packaging stated:

‘This Design Sprint has been a great opportunity for DS Smith and Mondelez, offering both teams the chance to learn from experts and delve into the archive of  circularity knowledge from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The solutions our joint team have brought to the table demonstrate our commitment to instilling circularity at all stages of our customer’s journey. Furthermore by bringing our customer, Mondelez, to the table we have demonstrated to EMF the value of our business through our networks and influence; encouraging more companies to take up the mantle of circularity.’



Caption: Mondelēz International includes iconic global and local brands Cadbury, Oreo, Green and Blacks and more.


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