News | June 24, 2021

WestRock Commits To Emissions Reductions; Pledges To Set A Science-Based Target

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

WestRock Company (NYSE: WRK), a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions, today announced its commitment to setting a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target that is aligned with current climate science. WestRock has confirmed its commitment with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and will develop, validate and publish a science-based target within 24 months.

“Building on a proud legacy in sustainable forestry and fiber management, we believe in the promise of a sustainable future, and we are committed to working with our customers, our supply chain and the communities where we work to get there together,” said David B. Sewell, chief executive officer of WestRock. “That’s why we have prioritized setting emissions reduction targets to help reduce this critical element impacting climate change.”

This latest commitment builds on the progress WestRock has made as a sustainability leader within the packaging industry. As fiber-based packaging continues to grow in popularity, WestRock has been taking active steps for—and with—its customers to work toward a more circular economy. Pivotal to this progress is the company’s commitment to offering fiber-based alternatives to plastic packaging.

WestRock’s sustainability progress and performance is highlighted in its latest sustainability report prepared in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards – the world’s leading sustainability reporting framework – and shows the company’s ongoing commitment to transparency and accountability.

The Science Based Targets initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the World Resources Institute (WRI), Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the UN Global Compact (UNGC). During the 2015 Paris Agreement, 195 of the world’s governments committed to reducing the most dangerous impacts of climate change by limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius signaling an acceleration in expectations surrounding the transition to a low carbon economy.

For more information on science-based targets and the SBTi’s Call to Action visit the SBTi website.

About SBTi

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and is one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments. The initiative champions science-based target setting as a powerful way of boosting companies’ competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy. Science-based targets are greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets that are in line with the level of decarbonization required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

About WestRock

WestRock (NYSE: WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated, sustainable paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s team members support customers around the world from locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Learn more at westrock.com/sustainability.

Cautionary Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations, beliefs, plans or forecasts and are typically identified by words or phrases such as "may," "will," "could," "should," "would," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "target," "prospects," "potential" and "forecast," and other words, terms and phrases of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, expectations, projections, goals, forecasts, assumptions, risks and uncertainties. The Company cautions readers that a forward-looking statement is not a guarantee of future performance and that actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statement. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, that we will develop, validate and publish an approved science-based target within 24 months. The Company’s businesses are subject to a number of risks that would affect any such forward-looking statements, including, among others, the level of demand for our products; our ability to respond effectively to the impact of COVID-19; our ability to successfully identify and make performance and productivity improvements; increases in energy, raw materials, shipping and capital equipment costs; reduced supply of raw materials; the Company’s ongoing assessment of the recent ransomware incident, adverse legal, reputational and financial effects on the Company resulting from the incident or additional cyber incidents and the effectiveness of the Company’s business continuity plans during the ransomware incident; fluctuations in selling prices and volumes; intense competition; the potential loss of certain customers; the scope, costs, timing and impact of any restructuring of our operations and corporate and tax structure; the occurrence of severe weather or a natural disaster or other unanticipated problems, such as labor difficulties, equipment failure or unscheduled maintenance and repair, which could result in operational disruptions, including those related to COVID-19; our desire or ability to continue to repurchase company stock; the scope, timing and outcome of any litigation, claims or other proceedings or dispute resolutions and the impact of any such litigation; our ability to realize anticipated synergies from the KapStone acquisition; and adverse changes in general market and industry conditions. Such risks and other factors that may impact management's assumptions are more particularly described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2020. The information contained herein speaks as of the date hereof and the Company does not have or undertake any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


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