Interview: DS Smith, UK IT Industry Awards finalist

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Amy Anderson, Information Security Governance professional, DS Smith
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Amy Anderson, Information Security Governance professional, DS Smith

'Our purpose is to help our customers respond to changing shopping habits with the sustainable packaging solutions that our society needs'

Technology is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and there are hundreds of events dedicated to recognising success - but only one boasts the professionalism, scale and recognition to lead the way; The UK IT Industry Awards.

The UK IT Industry Awards are the largest and most well-known event in the technology industry calendar.

This year's winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony on Wednesday 9th November in London.

One of those finalists is Amy Anderson, who works at DS Smith and is on the shortlist for the Rising Star of the Year.

We caught up with Amy to find out what makes her company different from its peers.

Amy is an Information Security Governance, Risk, and Compliance professional working in Information & Technology for DS Smith, a FTSE100 global packaging company. She has been in the industry for five years, being one of the first students to join industry via the Government 'Cyber Security Technologist' apprenticeship in the Transport sector.

Amy has a keen passion for developing security within an organisation and is experienced in working with security standards and legislation, including within Critical National Infrastructure, and communicating risk across all levels of an organisation.

Computing: Please provide some background on your company for our readers.

Amy Anderson: DS Smith is a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions, paper products and recycling services worldwide. Over the past 80 years, we have grown significantly, as have our services and areas of expertise.

In recent times, DS Smith has experienced rapid growth, acquiring businesses across Europe and in North America, and becoming one of the largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Today, we operate in more than 30 different countries, proudly employing over 30,000 people.

How is your company different from its peers?

We are different as we see the opportunity for packaging to play a powerful role in a changing world. Our Purpose is to help our customers respond to changing shopping habits with the sustainable packaging solutions that our society needs.

We are recognised around the world for our innovation and for the quality of our packaging. Our products can improve transport and storage efficiency, boost retail presentation and increase product sales for our customers - and we do it with sustainable corrugated cardboard. By recycling the paper fibres in our cardboard, we can save up to 160 million trees every year from being cut down.

Our vision is "To be the leading supplier of sustainable packaging solutions" and thanks to the skills and knowledge of our employees, we are able to provide our customers with strategic support across their entire packaging Supply Cycle.

What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?

The past 12 months have seen the environment in which we operate continuously to evolve at pace. Large scale events including Covid-19, climate change and macroeconomic factors have been a catalyst for consumers to consider the way they relate to packaging. And we have responded.

In the year, we announced our commitment to a science-based target in line with the 1.5°C trajectory which equates to a 46% absolute reduction in CO2 by 2030 versus 2019 and are committed to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. We are delighted that over the past year, our leading ESG and sustainability performance was recognised by our ESG ratings, with improvements in CDP, DJSI (S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment), EcoVadis, MSCI and Sustainalytics.

What are you working on this year?

Through the global pandemic, we have continued to grow our business, building on our existing customer relationships as well as winning new customers with a focus on the resilient FMCG and e-commerce markets. By leveraging our scale, our deep customer relationships and innovative solutions, we have a strong platform to grow our market share over the next year. The pandemic has accelerated our key growth drivers - changing retail channels including e-commerce, and demand for sustainability - and we are ideally placed to capitalise on this opportunity. As a business, we are focused on delivering for all our stakeholders including employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders to deliver real value for all.

Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?

At DS Smith realising the potential of our people is one of our four strategic goals, which drive our purpose to redefine packaging for a changing world. The UK IT Industry Awards creates a fantastic opportunity to recognise the great work our people do in I&T, and also how I&T is a business imperative and enabler at DS Smith - such a message is incredibly important to the IT industry as a whole.

The UK IT Industry Awards will take place on 9th November in London. Click here to view the shortlist and here to book your table.

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