Company successfully reaches milestone to create a more sustainable future for 100-year-old Hartsville Mill Complex
HARTSVILLE, S.C. , Oct. 06, 2022 -- Sonoco (NYSE: SON), one of the largest sustainable global packaging companies, today announced that the new uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) #10 machine is operational as part of its previously announced Project Horizon—the $125 million investment to transform its former corrugated medium machine in Hartsville, S.C to a state-of-the-art URB operation.
“We are excited to share the successful launch of our updated #10 machine. This machine was designed to be one of the largest and lowest cost producers of URB in the world—paving the way for the future of our Hartsville paper mill complex and our global position as a high quality URB provider,” said Rodger Fuller, Sonoco’s Chief Operating Officer. “With these state-of-the-art capabilities, Sonoco is able to produce a wider range of high-value paper grades to serve our Industrial and Consumer converted products businesses and external trade customers.”
Project Horizon was initiated, in part, to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of Sonoco’s 100-year-old Hartsville Mill Complex, at which the Company produces almost one-third of its U.S. and Canadian URB. The introduction of the new operation is projected to drive $30 million in annual cost savings by 2024 and will ensure the mill remains globally competitive.
This launch also marks Sonoco’s move to 100% recycled fibers in the Hartsville Mill Complex, which eliminated the manufacturing complex’s virgin pulp processing and chemical recovery operation. This conversion to 100% recycled fiber is expected to reduce electricity consumption, driving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and total water use—advancing Sonoco’s long-term sustainability commitment.
As previously announced and planned, with the introduction of the high-capacity #10 URB machine, the less efficient #1 and # 9 cylinder machines will be permanently shut down by the end of October 2022.
Fuller concluded, “The start-up of the #10 machine is an important milestone for Sonoco to demonstrate our ability to update and improve long-standing machines to meet changing market conditions and better serve our customers. We congratulate and thank the entire Sonoco team and our valuable suppliers for their efforts to execute this successful project.”
Founded in 1899, Sonoco (NYSE:SON) is a global provider of packaging products. With net sales of approximately $5.6 billion in 2021, the Company has approximately 22,000 employees working in more than 300 operations around the world, serving some of the world’s best-known brands. With our corporate purpose of Better Packaging. Better Life., Sonoco is committed to creating sustainable products, and a better world, for our customers, employees and communities. The Company ranked first in the Packaging sector on Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies for 2022 as well as being included in Barron's 100 Most Sustainable Companies for the fourth consecutive year. For more information on the Company, visit our website at www.sonoco.com.
This news release includes forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about Sonoco, the industry and certain assumptions made by management. Such information includes, without limitation, discussions as expected cost savings from Project Horizon, the cost, capacity and competitiveness of Sonoco’s URB production capabilities, expected environmental impacts, Sonoco’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions and serve its customers and other perceived opportunities, expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, goals and objectives concerning Sonoco’s future financial and operating performance. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict, including the successful startup and operation of new manufacturing technologies, the accuracy of assumptions regarding and the ability to achieve the anticipated cost and energy savings, the availability and pricing of raw materials, energy and transportation, competitive pressures, and the other risks, uncertainties and assumptions discussed in Sonoco’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, particularly under the heading “Risk Factors.” Therefore, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements. Sonoco undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.