Founded 17 years ago as a division of Hartsville, SC-based packaging manufacturer Sonoco, S3 works with large manufacturers and distributors to divert waste from landfills into beneficial reuse applications. The division’s tailored services span sustainability program management, logistics and sales management, centralized data reporting, and transportation, sale, and disposal of materials.
An illustrative example of its client work was a 2019 engagement with a major apparel distributor. S3 identified equipment that could securely destroy damaged or obsolete clothing on-site instead of transporting to landfills, and then identified two outlets that could utilize the resulting textile waste. The project identified $100,000 in savings and diverted 300 tons from landfill annually.
“We are pleased to be joining forces with S3 to expand our combined capabilities, customer base, and subject matter expertise,” said Seth Goodman and Noah Goodman of Northstar. “The Northstar platform has been purpose-built to provide a comprehensive solution for managing industrial waste streams and diverting recoverable materials away from landfills into more sustainable outlets on behalf of our environmentally-conscious customers. S3’s business model is highly-complementary to that of Northstar, and this acquisition enhances the combined business’ ability to serve current and future customers and vendors at scale.”
Northstar was itself acquired by mid-market private equity firm Ridgemont Equity Partners in 2021. Northstar last year bolted on California-based Complete Recycling.
“S3 and Northstar have shared the same mission for many years, which is to help develop innovative and executable strategies for companies to reduce their environmental footprints and increase their sustainability efforts by turning material waste into a material resource,” said Palace Stepps, president of Sonoco Recycling. “S3’s combination with a market leader like Northstar elevates and further substantiates the important work that the S3 team has been pursuing for nearly two decades on behalf of Sonoco’s clients given our mutual commitment to redefining waste streams.”
The deal is part of Sonoco’s portfolio simplification away from complementary consulting and waste services.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.