AGI
    LITYEXPAND

Group overview

Hummingbirds are the trapeze artists of the avian world. They can fly forwards, backwards, even upside down and are also the only vertebrae capable of hovering in place. In addition to being agile, hummingbirds are extraordinarily fast. They have been observed at speeds of nearly 48 kilometres per hour (km/h) in direct flight and over 72 km/h during courtship dives.

Adaptability is another hummingbird characteristic. These tiny birds have fewer feathers than other birds, because they need to have an efficient body that is as lightweight as possible in order for the flight aerobics they perform. As the insulation that they get from their feathers is insufficient, at night they go into torpor, a hibernation-like state that allows them to conserve energy by slowing down their metabolism, heartbeat and respiration rate. Furthermore, hummingbirds remember migration routes and every flower they’ve ever visited. They can also figure out how long to wait between visits so the flowers have time to generate more nectar.

Inherent in our approach is being agile to stay ahead of market changes, preferences, customer needs and expectations.

ON
    WARDSEXPAND

Creating value by responding strategically

When presented with a dandelion, few people can resist the urge to hold the flower and blow at it to see how far the seeds will travel. It’s the same when presented with a beautiful coffee table book or an impactful piece of print – there is an almost irresistible urge to pick it up, examine it and touch it. Studies have shown that even the simple act of touching objects, like premium packages, brochures and direct mail, can subconsciously increase the perceived value of a brand and its products in the eyes of customers.

Touch can make a stronger impact than sight or sound alone. That’s because touch has the power to shift the brain into a deeper level of engagement, one more conducive to building lasting knowledge. In fact, a number of studies have found that communication through physical media, particularly paper, is more likely to lead to knowledge than communication via digital media.

The haptics of paper and board, together with our need to touch and feel, have created high-growth, cash-generative niche opportunities for Sappi.

We continue to move onwards in terms of paper and paper packaging: Our paperboard packaging product lines are some of the most renowned and valued brands with high-finish premium solutions for cosmetics and perfume, health and beauty care, consumer electronics, confectionery, luxury drinks, food packaging and more. Our packaging brands constitute a great portion of the food packing and labels on shop shelves today. And our graphic papers are used to grab the attention of consumers all over the world.

BLO
    SSOMEXPAND

Our performance review

In mythology, the beautiful, delicate dragonfly symbolises change, transformation and adaptability. This change is said to be about understanding the deeper meaning of life, with the dragonfly’s scurrying flight across water representing an act of going beyond what’s on the surface to look into the deeper implications of life.

Looking beyond – and deeper – is reflected in our Thrive25 sustainability strategy which incorporates our belief that to continue thriving as a global business, we must create long-term value for all stakeholders by supporting a low-carbon circular economy through relevant products from sustainable woodfibre.

Our strategy also recognises that we must understand the forces that heavily impact our lives and work.

Dragonflies have huge compound eyes with thousands of lenses and photoreceptors sensitive to different wavelengths of light, each bringing in information about the insect's surroundings. In other words, they have near-360- degree vision. Which is why they’re able to go after their prey – butterflies, moths, bees and flies – with such accuracy.

At Sappi, we understand that by widening our scope to the broader ecosystem and a wide range of stakeholders, we can identify uncertainty and opportunity beyond our periphery of vision. We leverage insights into our operating context and patterns from our data, stay ahead of nascent technologies and draw on the acumen of our people, to embrace change and create innovative solutions that are relevant to all our stakeholders.

VELO
    CITYEXPAND

Governance and compensation

The cheetah’s light, streamlined body makes it well-suited to short, explosive bursts of speed, rapid acceleration and executing extreme changes in direction while moving at high speed. Contrary to the common belief that cheetahs – known to be the fastest land animal – hunt by simply chasing their prey at high speeds, they are in fact extremely strategic. They don’t randomly sprint towards anything, but wait until the timing is right, varying their speed during the chase. Speed and smartness are attributes that resonate with us at Sappi, given that ‘making smart decisions which we execute with speed’ are among our core values.

Under our Thrive25 strategy, we foster a safety-first culture, using collaboration and the power of partnerships to respond to changes in our environment, moving Sappi forward and deliver value to our customers.

AMP
    LIFYEXPAND

Governance and compensation

In a continuous flow of energy and life, water always finds the lowest level in an incredibly efficient manner. It penetrates any crevice or path that will facilitate its downward flow, steadily meandering and descending in search of lower planes.

In a similar fashion, our focus is on amplifying value creation for all our stakeholders. The landscape around us is changing rapidly. Stakeholders’ needs and expectations have shifted, in particular as regards the environment and social equity.

We are responding to natural resource constraints by seeking responsible alternatives to non-renewables and solutions that are truly sustainable from seed to final product. We strictly monitor and control our use of energy, water and other raw materials and are investing in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

We work to amplify value creation through innovation and R&D. Innovation is the way we operate that provides competitive advantages and ensures we grow, flourish and progress. R&D is focused on realising our ambitious but achievable strategy of extracting more value from each tree. Our strategy is supported by technology centres in each region which cover every section of the value chain. We deliver value by optimising our production processes, maximising existing capacity and work to constantly improve our best overall machine efficiency levels.

In the communities where we operate, we prioritise projects that support education, entrepreneurship and environment, as well as health and welfare, while working to break the cycle of poverty through stable, safe employment.

By amplifying value creation in this way, we accelerate and advance meaningful change.

Menu

Our key relationships

One of the strategic fundamentals of our Thrive25 strategy is to enhance trust.

This means listening to our stakeholders and responding to their issues and concerns. To do this and to improve our understanding of their needs, we proactively partner with them, challenging the status quo where necessary as we seek to transform the future with innovative, biobased and renewable materials.

Our overarching aim is to collaborate with our stakeholders to make all processes and materials more sustainable and also to leverage cutting-edge thinking that will help them become more successful and contribute to a thriving world.

The challenges facing the creation of a thriving world necessitate decisive action. In partnership with our stakeholders, we are thinking and acting more boldly than ever before to come up with real-world solutions to a broad range of challenges.

We establish and maintain proactive dialogue with all our stakeholders. In doing so, we recognise that stakeholder needs are dynamic and that we need to be responsive to the evolving stakeholder landscape. In addition to responsiveness, our approach to engagement is based on the principles of inclusivity, materiality, relevance and completeness.

We assess the quality of our relationships both informally, as set out on the following pages and formally – through regular employee and customer surveys, community forums and Poverty Greenlight in South Africa.

Our stakeholder work is aligned to the governance framework of King IV Code on Corporate Governance (King IV) namely performance and value creation, adequate and effective controls and trust, as well as reputation, legitimacy and ethics. Our membership of the United Nations Global Compact (UNCG) provides further guidance to our stakeholder approach.

Trust is not possible without an ethical culture underpinning our everyday activities, which is why we train our employees, customers and suppliers on our Code of Ethics and also promote awareness of the Sappi Hotlines in each region which allow all stakeholders to report breaches of the Code in full confidentiality without fear of reprisal.

We regularly review our activities with regard to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Anti-Bribery Convention and the Convention's 2009 Anti-Bribery Recommendation, particularly Section VII of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises dealing with Combating Bribery, Bribe Solicitation and Extortion. No issues have been raised regarding Sappi with regards to compliance with the Convention and Guidelines either externally or internally.

Read more: Maintaining ethical behaviour and compliance.

  Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

Employees

Self-assessment of quality of relationship: Good

Employees

Why we engage

As we take Sappi into the future based on the clear roadmap entrenched in our Thrive25 strategy, our task is to help our people understand the plan and clear their path to success. Our aim is to unlock the wide-ranging, significant expertise of our people today and tomorrow. In doing so, we secure our exciting future in woodfibre as a business that provides relevant solutions, delivers enhanced value and is a trusted partner to all our stakeholders.

  Shared priorities     Our response
  Constructive action with regard to Covid-19    

As the pandemic and associated lockdown dragged on, we continued to facilitate remote working and a staggered return to our sites. Covid-19 information hubs continued to support our staff, customers and their families, focusing specifically on vaccination-related topics.

Read more under Our operating context

  Focused wellness and wellbeing    
  • Wellbeing and wellness programmes are tailored to the needs of each region
  • In SSA, our HIV/Aids programme provides support for employees and contractors. In this region, we also work with government in terms of community health programmes.
  Involvement in safety    
  • For the second year running, the theme for Global Safety Awareness week was 'I Value Life'. In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual webinars and e-media were used to convey safety messages to our people.
  • Involving our people in health and safety is part of our collaborative approach to doing business. Health and safety committees are in place at all our operations. Through these committees, our people are consulted about the development/review of policies and procedures and changes that affect workplace safety or health.
    • In SEU, formal health and safety committees are in place at different levels of the business in line with statutory requirements. All employees are represented by the safety committees
    • In SNA, all unions have the opportunity to participate in joint management/worker safety committees.
    • In SSA, (including Sappi Limited), health and safety representatives are elected from non-supervisory staff. In line with legislation, there is one representative for every 50 workers.
    • Sappi Trading does not have formal joint management worker health and safety committees due to the small size of the offices, but there are appointed safety officers.

Read more about safety: Ensuring the safety of our employees and contractors.

  Effective recognition programmes    

Our recognition programmes include:

Sappi Limited

  • Technical Innovation Awards
  • CEO Award for Excellence

SEU

  • Annual Coryphaena Award

SNA

  • TOUTS Recognition Awards – in FY2021 employees generated over 2,400 TOUTS
  • Periodic regional President's Awards

SSA

  • Excellence in Achievement Awards
  • Annual safety awards
  • Annual regional CEO Awards

Sappi Trading

  • SMART Awards
  Connection with Sappi's strategic goals and high levels of engagement    

We conduct engagement surveys every second year, with the most recent taking place this year. In 2021 we selected a new survey provider. Their service offering includes a much-improved participant experience, significant granularity in reporting as well as fast turnaround times in obtaining the results. The timespan for results reduced from three months to one month. In addition, the engagement categories in the new survey are more defined and specific than in the previous survey.

Read more: Engaging more closely with our employees.

  Encourage employee volunteerism through initiatives    

SEU: Support of various local education, cultural and environmental projects based on annual requests and identified needs.

SNA: Through the Employee Ideas that Matter initiative, we provide grants to employees to benefit non-profit organisations they are most passionate about. The winners share US$25,000 in corporate giving to support their selected causes.

SSA: Employee wellbeing committees at each mill support local community projects as well as Mandela Day.

  Training and development that benefits Sappi and our employees    

Globally, each employee benefited from 48.3 hours of training. Training spend per region was: SEU: US$473, SNA: US$238, SSA: US$671, Sappi Trading: US$504.

SEU

  • The Leadership Talent Strategy and Sappi Leadership Academy develop a leadership pipeline.
  • The Apprenticeship Programme and Graduate Trainee Programme source talent.

SNA

  • Education programmes are supported at targeted colleges and universities as are programmes to encourage study in fields relevant to our operations, including scholarship programmes and internships.
  • We provide support for the University of Minnesota Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative which offers continuing education opportunities to forestry and natural resource professionals in a broad range of fields.
  • Sappi Learning, a Cornerstone-based system, is a training and development tool offering new ways of engaging employees in personal development planning, with access to a whole library of online training content, including Udemy training modules.

SSA

  • The Sappi Leadership Academy prepares future leaders.
  • Apprenticeships, Engineers in Training and Foresters in Training programmes build our human capital for the future.
  • The Regional Employment Equity and Learning Committee ensures that we meet our legislative obligation to consult as placed on us by the Employment Equity Act and Skills Development Act. The committee meets at least twice a year.
  Understanding of Sappi's commitment to sustainability which underpins our strategy    

Globally, targeted internal publications and social media campaigns linked to global days like Global Ethics Day, World Environment Day (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Bx7EQuoX8OM) and the International Day of Biodiversity (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=JNyMmRRPJMc) enhance understanding of the sustainability landscape in general as well as our actions to ensure that we play an active role in driving responsibility within this landscape, in particular.

SEU has established the Blue Couch series, featuring video interviews on new products, innovations, sustainability and more.

SNA runs an active Sustainability Ambassador programme which promotes understanding and awareness of sustainability-related issues.

SSA continues to operate Ask Alex, an initiative whereby employees can pose questions to our CEO.

Opportunities for value creation

  • Alignment with our strategic direction enables our people to contribute more positively to the business as well as their personal and career development
  • By building our human capital base, we establish a base of technical skills needed both by Sappi and by the industry
  • A diverse workforce enhances our ability to service global markets and promotes a culture of inclusivity
  • An increased commitment to safety delivers benefits at personal, team and operational levels
  • By establishing an ethical culture where corporate citizenship is promoted, we ensure the ongoing viability of our business, enhance reputation and become an employer of choice

Challenges for value creation

  • Recruitment and retention of key skills
  • Loss of institutional memory as older employees retire

CASE STUDY: Supporting communities on Mandela Day

Sappi Southern Africa rallies to the call to #ServeLikeMadiba in July every year by encouraging our staff to give generously of their time in the week around former President Nelson Mandela's birthday. In 2021 we adjusted our activities due to the realities of Covid-19 restrictions and the impact of social unrest.

One of our biggest beneficiaries this year was the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital – the first dedicated children's hospital in Gauteng – which received a donation of branded blankets, Typek A4 paper, and hand sanitiser. They responded by saying: "Thank you Sappi for #servinglikemadiba by donating two years' worth of paper! Together with sanitiser, blankets and water for the children at our Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital."

Staying in Gauteng, our head office staff partnered with the Helen Joseph Hospital, a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Witwatersrand's Medical School, to donate a much-needed specialised fridge for storing Covid-19 vaccines and other medication at the optimum temperature. They commented: "The shortening of time saved in rushing to and from other areas to fetch medication will help all patients facing an emergency and will keep our medication requiring refrigeration safe and effective."

In KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), our Sappi Forests personnel donated 90 packs of baby nappies to the Salvation Army's Joseph Baynes Children's Home in Pietermaritzburg. The staff who received these were delighted and commented: "Christmas came early for us this year! When you have 30 children aged under two you use a lot of nappies every day. Your generous donation was just so amazing and will go a long way to keep our little ones dry and comfortable. We thank you for blessing us with this kind donation. In the uncertain times we live, people like you make our jobs just so much easier."

Elsewhere in KZN, several of our neighbouring forestry communities in the KZN Midlands were supplied essential nutritional porridge packs.

Sappi Forests joined forces with Savithi Trading Company, one of its contractor partners to distribute 1,500 kg of porridge. A further 3,000 kg of the porridge was distributed by our teams of foresters and community relations personnel, who worked closely with the Department of Social Development to identify and distribute the porridge to the child-headed households in our operational areas near KwaMbonambi, inland near Ixopo and Bulwer and in the vicinity of Greytown and surrounds.

In the communities of Umkomaas, Mandeni and Stanger surrounding our three mills in KZN, our employees contributed to food parcels which were distributed by local NGOs to people who had been affected with food shortage, exacerbated by the disruption of supply chains resulting from the unrest. Donations were also made by staff from around the country to assist communities who had been left destitute by the civil unrest.

At our Mpumalanga operations, we teamed up with members of the Ngodwana Integrated Community Forum and arranged an Early Childhood Development (ECD) Outreach programme, donating blankets and goodie bags to the children of Empilweni Day Care and Woodhouse Day Care centres. In Barberton, the children at the St John's Care Centre each received a care parcel containing toiletries and a soft toy, while the Centre received Typek office paper, as did the nine Penreach ECDs that we support in the Emjindini Township.

Unions

Self-assessment of quality of relationships: Fair

Unions

Why we engage

In 2021, globally, 56.43% of our workforce was unionised, with 71.53% belonging to a bargaining unit. A workplace where people feel they have been heard and in which they can make a meaningful contribution, promotes productivity and stability. Accordingly, it makes sound business sense to maintain constructive relationships with our employees and their representatives. We do so in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding.

  Shared priorities     Our response
  Freedom of association, collective bargaining and disciplined behaviour    

Sappi endorses the principles of fair labour practice as entrenched in the United Nations Global Compact and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At a minimum, we conform to and often exceed labour legislation requirements in countries in which we operate. Protecting the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is fundamental to the manner in which we do business. We engage extensively with representative trade unions. Discussions range from remuneration issues, to training and development, health and safety and organisational changes.

Given the complex labour situation in South Africa, we have established a number of structures to enhance ongoing positive engagement with union leadership. This is facilitated by structures such as the National Partnership Forum which includes senior members of management and senior union leaders who hold regular meetings where business, safety and union challenges are discussed.

Disciplined behaviour is essential for individual wellbeing, and to achieve our group goals and objectives. In each region, disciplinary codes ensure appropriate procedures are applied consistently, while grievance policies entrench the rights of employees, including the right to raise a grievance without fear of victimisation, the right to seek guidance and assistance from a member of the human resources department or their representative at any time and the right to appeal to a higher authority, without prejudice.

Read more: Supporting sound labour relations.

  UNGC Principle 3: Businesses should uphold freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
  Safety and wellness initiatives    

The health and safety committees at all our operations provide a forum for consultation about the development/review of policies and procedures and changes that affect workplace safety or health. Wellness programmes include fitness and medical screening programmes, as well as psychological and financial support.

  Remuneration, working hours and other conditions of service    

Our labour standards ensure that our remuneration practices are fair, with compensation levels set to reflect competitive market practices and internal equity as well as company and individual performance. In rural areas, forest products companies like Sappi are often the only, or major, employers which makes the local population very dependent on the company and which could, in turn, lead to exploitative behaviour and an indirect form of forced labour. Against this backdrop, in all three regions, labour is sourced on the open market, we pay market-related wages in line with or above local legislation and ensure that working hours are fair.

  UNGC Principle 4: The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour.
  Resolving grievances, engaging on strategy    
  • Well-established grievance channels, disciplinary procedures and whistleblower protocols provide a non-retributory framework.
  • We regularly engage with unions on economic conditions, market dynamics and growth plans.

Opportunities for value creation

  • Good employee/management relations enable us to resolve new and difficult labour issues as they develop.
  • When employees understand strategic direction and operating context, they are more likely to be more committed to Sappi, leading to a more stable labour force and higher levels of productivity.

Challenges for value creation

  • Multi-union landscapes, particularly in North America and South Africa, add to complexities in the labour environment.
  • Unrealistic expectations about wages increases, particularly in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Customers

Self-assessment of quality of relationships: Excellent

Customers

Why we engage

The more closely we engage and collaborate with our customers, the more likely we are to understand and respond to their evolving needs by offering relevant solutions in the form of sustainable, practical products and services. This partnership approach builds the loyalty and long-term relationships that enable us to thrive.

Through our continued focus on innovating paper and packaging solutions, pulp and biomaterials, we remain committed to partnerships with customers who are increasingly focused on the social and environmental credentials of our products. Survey after survey confirms that consumers want to be greener in their purchasing decisions. We are committed to having a positive impact across the entire value chain by embracing the circular economy, and using sustainable materials based on certified wood and replacing fossil-based chemistry. We are also committed to working on new technologies that support transformation in Sappi and across our value chain partners to reduce CO2 emissions and contribute to the UN SDGs.

  Shared priorities     Our response
  Enhanced service levels    

In SEU, we entered into a partnership with Shippeo which offers 'predictive visibility' of supply chain transportation. This enhances the customer experience by providing a reliable estimate of when an order will arrive with the customer as well as a faster response to customer inquiries on goods in transit. Proactive sharing of the live delivery status with customers ensures early warnings are given on potential delivery delays.

This move enables us to measure and manage carrier performance in real-time, as well as benefit from faster and more efficient information exchange and communication between customer service, logistics and carrier teams. Insights drawn from resulting data also help to drive continuous improvement of operational processes.

  New or enhanced products that meet rapidly changing market demand    

R&D
Consumers have become increasingly aware of social and environmental issues and are looking to us for help in this regard. Against this backdrop, our Innovation and Sustainability department enables us to put sustainability at the heart of everything we produce, enhances our understanding of our customers' current and future needs and means we can meet and anticipate those needs.

Where relevant, we will conduct R&D and develop products to suit customers' specific needs.

Read more: Developing and commercialising innovations in addition to adjacent businesses.

Verve
We partnered with Birla Cellulose, one of the leading viscose manufacturers in the textile value chain, to provide a forest-to-garment traceability solution for 22 global brand owners.

We are also an advisory partner in the development of the Textile Exchange biodiversity module.

Read more: Reinforcing Verve as the Fibre of Choice.

Biotech
We achieved commercialisation of Symbio, our biocomposite product, and are moving ahead with our furfural plant at Saiccor Mill.

Casting and release
Ultracast Viva® release paper won the Green Product Award 2021 jury prize in the fashion category. This award programme recognises companies and start-ups that have distinguished themselves by their sustainable practices and product results.

Ultracast Viva is a first-of-its-kind product made specifically for high-fidelity PVC, PU, semi-PU and solvent-free casting systems that are used in the manufacturing of coated fabrics.

  Information and campaigns to promote print as a communication medium and encourage the use of packaging    
  • We continue to participate in industry initiatives like TwoSides.
  • We also participate in a number of tradeshows including:
    • Luxe Pack in Monaco where we showcased our high-quality paperboard product Algro Design and our new, upmarket Fusion Nature Plus virgin fibre liner.
    • FachPack in Germany where we presented our innovative high-barrier papers with integrated heat-sealing capability, together with an uncoated, bright white virgin-fibre liner for corrugated board applications and paper carrier bags, a non-wet-strength, wet-glue label paper and new papers in the flexible packaging sector.

SEU

  • Shortly after year end, for the second year running, Sappi will be joining other leading organisations and brands to sponsor a Europe-wide hackathon bringing together small teams of start-ups, scale-ups, industry enthusiasts and students to brainstorm innovative solutions to issues facing the graphic papers sector. This year's hackathon will tackle multiple challenges in six main categories exploring the overall theme: "The graphic communication enterprise of the future. How to future-proof our industry?"

SNA

  • Launched a Sustainable Alternatives Campaign that included a video, a new addition to Sappi's website and social posts demonstrating how Sappi is partnering with other businesses to be pioneers in more sustainable alternatives. The campaign shows the many ways we can enable brands and businesses to meet their sustainability promises by committing to using renewable resource-based materials in their products and packaging. Details can be found at sappi.com/promise.
  • Hosted a series of webinars designed to promote the intersection between print and packaging with digital marketing. Topics included the persuasive role of packaging, direct mail and how interactivity, customisation and innovative printing technologies and special effects leverage the unique power of print to expand brand presence, grow sales, and build a bridge between online and offline marketing.
  Information about the fibre sourcing and production processes behind our brands    
  • Customers generally approach us for information about the fibre sourcing and production processes behind our brands, including carbon footprint. In response to these requests, in all regions we compile wood origin declarations and publish Paper Profiles or similar data and information sheets for our papers. We also respond to many questionnaires from our customers including on our CO2 reduction plans and performance. In SNA, we hold Customer Council meetings and have developed our own eQ GHG emissions calculator that quantifies the amount of emissions associated with a customer order and how those emissions compare against the industry average.
  • We also publish fibre sourcing declarations on sappi.com for all mills.
  • At the request of our customers, in all three regions, we participate in EcoVadis and hold a platinum rating for all three regions
  • Regions also engage with suppliers through sustainability summits and individual meetings.
  • We also publish FAQs covering topics like climate change, as well as forest and energy certification.
  Technical information    

SEU

SNA

  • The POP site is aimed at marketers, creatives, designers and printers looking to innovate in their categories (www.sappipops.com)
  • Sappi etc is an educational platform for designers and printers (www.sappi.com/sappietc)

SSA

  • Our paper and paper pulp product offerings are supported by strong technical teams at each mill and the technology centre in Tshwane

Opportunities for value creation

  • Meet customer needs for products with an enhanced environmental profile
  • Innovate to align with evolving market trends
  • Increase awareness of the importance of sustainability
  • Promote our customers' own sustainability journeys
  • Keep abreast of market developments
  • Showcase our products and promote the Sappi brand.
  • Enhanced licence to operate and thrive
  • Promoting socio-economic development which could, in the long term, lead to increased demand for our products
  • Initiation of real social mobilisation and change for the better
  • Closer integration with local development plans from the authorities.

Challenges for value creation

  • Confusion about responsible forest management and the sustainable commercial use of forests and plantations with deforestation and lack of understanding about the manner in which the forests and plantations from which we source woodfibre help mitigate global warming
  • Promoting understanding of decarbonisation across the value chain.
  • Community expectations for jobs and service delivery.

CASE STUDY: Digital and paper: a powerful combination

Printed electronics are decidedly on the move. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is no longer a niche technology. It is already being used to great effect in many areas of everyday life: in our passports, ID cards and travel cards, clothes, library books and much more.

The vast scale and intricacy of the RFID market also offers new opportunities for the printing industry. With this in mind, ISBC, an international company focused on the development of unique RFID and Internet of Things (IoT) products has developed and presented to the market an innovative product: ISBC® RFID Paper.

The product is sheet-fed and made with Sappi's 100% fibre-based Swiss Matt speciality paper, used mostly as an inkjet paper for large-format printing. RFID chips are embedded into the paper sheets causing no effect over the paper surface which remains flat and smooth.

Communities

Self-assessment of quality of relationships: Fair to good and steadility improving

Communities

Why we engage

Recognising that we are part of the communities beyond our fence lines and that their prosperity and wellbeing are linked to our own, we strive to make a purpose-driven, meaningful contribution towards the wellbeing and development of our neighbouring communities. We work to create positive social impact by jointly identifying and leveraging opportunities, thereby demonstrating our commitment to transparency and collaboration.

Community engagement meetings take various formats in our mills in the regions where they operate. These range from broad liaison forums for business, local government and communities, to legally mandated environmental forums that form part of the licensing conditions of mills. In South Africa, there are local farmer and community forums related to our forestry communities.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we refocused our response to and investment in the communities close to our areas of operation.

  Shared priorities     Our response
  Community support including employment, job creation, business opportunities, economic and social impacts/contributions and community support    

SEU

  • Employees are encouraged to nominate and participate in local community projects and events.
  • At a local community level, our focus is to add to the wellbeing, safety and health of our communities. We support various local schools, sports and hobby clubs, forest products industry students, local safety and environmental organisations and local charities.

SNA

  • Each site has a group focusing on community connections to channel local support.
  • Education programmes are supported at targeted colleges and universities as are programmes to encourage study in fields relevant to our operations.
  • We provide financial support to several non-profit conservation organisations to support regional biologist positions, landowner and community outreach activities, advocacy efforts, etc. Examples include funding and in-kind support for elementary and secondary school field days, community forestry workshops, landowner outreach projects in cooperation with state agencies and industry associations, billboards promoting Sappi's private lands forestry programme and private landowner management assistance.
  • The Idea that Matter (ITM) programme continues to recognise and support designers who support good causes. Since 1999 the programme has funded over 500 non-profit projects and has contributed nearly US$14 million to a wide range of causes around the world that use design as a positive force in society. Given our focus during the past year on responding to the Coronavirus pandemic, the ITM programme was suspended. It has been reformatted and relaunched for 2022 to align with the UN SDGs encouraging applicants to use design to address global challenges.
  • The Employee Ideas that Matter programme provides direct funding to the non-profit organisations about which our employees are most passionate.

SSA

  • Community support has been bolstered by the creation of a dedicated multi-disciplinary team comprising the Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) team, the Human Resources team and the Corporate Citizenship team. This structure has been rolled out at each mill site and is referred to as the Community Management Committee (CMC). The purpose of the CMC is to identify shared value opportunities which help identify and support local entrepreneurs as well as to promote the sourcing of goods and services from local suppliers where possible. The CMC also report on the employment of locals and ensures investment in communities addresses specific needs. The CMC at all times aims to collaborate with government, NGOs and the private sector for scale.
  • Given South Africa's significant development needs, the bulk of community support is allocated to this region. Support is directed to education, environment and socio-economic development, based on helping communities help themselves. Initiatives include:
  • Initiatives include:
    • Sappi Khulisa, our enterprise development scheme for emerging timber farmers
    • The Abashintshi Youth programme
    • Education throughout the education value chain, including ECD; Khulisa Ulwazi, our training centres for small growers and two training centres for local unemployed youth at the Saiccor and Ngodwana Mills
    • Support for local tourism through our mountain-biking and trail running sponsorships and promoting recreational riding on Sappi land.

Read more about our ESD work in particular: Creating a positive social impact with communities.

CASE STUDY: Collaborating to support the endangered Pepper-bark tree

Our operations are deeply seated within the traditional communities of South Africa and we are committed to developing and improving the resilience of the communities and environment in which we operate. One such example is the partnership between our Shaw Forestry Research Centre and local research institutes to restore the endangered Pepper-bark tree (Warburgia Salutaris) which is widely used in traditional medicine for primary health needs like the common cold. This tree is endangered due to unsustainable bark harvesting. The Pepper-bark tree was previously widespread but is currently found growing in small pockets in nature reserves and is under constant surveillance. It was a challenge to cultivate this species due to a pest that damages the seed and due to the presence of aromatic oils in the cuttings.

In 2014, we joined a project, launched by SANParks, the Agricultural Research Council and South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and used in-house skills in cutting production to propagate the Pepper-bark tree. The project has been a major success with Sappi also assisting in the distribution of approximately 40,000 Pepper-bark seedlings and cuttings to rural communities, at no cost. The financial impact of the project is intangible but invaluable: the programme of work has led to the discovery that the Pepper-bark tree can be harvested sustainably as the medicinal properties of the highly prized bark is also abundant in the twigs and leaves. This has led to an educational outreach programme with traditional healers and community members. A working group partnership has also established a gene bank and seed orchards and will coordinate the Pepper-bark conservation project.

Sappi has also provided the Pepper-bark trees to neighbouring countries, like eSwatini via the eSwatini Traditional Healers Association and to Zimbabwe in partnership with Botanic Gardens Conservation International. Due to the success of the programme, the South African government has asked Sappi to consider adopting further endangered species for re-establishment.

Industry bodies, related memberships and organised business

Self-assessment of quality of relationships: Good

Industry bodies, related memberships and organised business

Why we engage

We engage with industry bodies and business believing that together, we are better equipped to meet the needs of a growing and changing society. Our focus is on using our expertise and our networks to help create a more sustainable future. Accordingly, we partner with industry and business bodies to provide input on issues and regulations that affect and are relevant to our businesses and industries. We also support and partner with industry initiatives aimed at promoting the use of our products and the overall sustainability of our industry. One of our longest relationships is with the UNGC, to which we have been a signatory since 2008. We work to implement the UNGC's 10 principles, all of which align with the UN SDGs. Under our Thrive25 strategy which emphasises partnership and collaboration we have been focusing more intensively on working closely and more often with those who share both our values and commitment to our industry.

  Shared priorities     Our response
  Decarbonisation and net zero    

In FY2021, we continued our work on the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in line with our group-wide decarbonisation strategy and expect our science-based targets to be approved by the SBTi in FY2022.

We also became a project member of the WBCSD Forest Solutions Group's Forest sector net zero roadmap project (July 2021-July 2022).

In SNA, we renewed our commitment to the SmartWay® Transport Partnership, an innovative collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and industry. The partnership provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply chains and benchmark overall performance.

  Biodiversity    

In 2021, we joined the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA), a new global movement which puts nature at the heart of the global circular bioeconomy. Established by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales under his Sustainable Markets Initiative in 2020, the CBA connects the dots between investors, companies, local communities, governmental and non-governmental organisations to advance the circular bioeconomy – while also restoring biodiversity.

At this stage, the focus on biodiversity in the textile industry – as with many others – is nascent. The Textile Exchange has developed a biodiversity module and associated Index to prepare the fashion industry for action. Sappi was an advisory partner in the module development. The module is going through an initial pilot phase to track the level of engagement and effort that companies are starting to make in terms of biodiversity. The biodiversity module will support and develop alongside the science-based targets network in order to reinforce consistency in language, frameworks and measurements. Additionally, use of this module and its future iterations will help companies prepare for stakeholder (including investor) questions around nature-related risk.

In SNA we have conducted training for wood procurement teams on biodiversity involving local, state and regional experts from state government agencies.

In SSA we have seven declared nature reserves on our landholdings in the Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. These proclaimed nature reserves are part of South Africa's Biodiversity Stewardship Programme managed by the SANBI and are based on partnerships between landowners, provincial conservation authorities and NGOs, in order to secure biodiversity. The sites are declared where important biodiversity or ecosystem services have been identified.

  Issues that affect the sustainability of our industry and initiatives that promote sustainability, awareness and understanding    

Global
As a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), we have contributed both data and resources to support the Higg Index, which measures sustainability performance and drives supply chain transparency and decision-making to improve efficiency and sustainability impact. Our Cloquet Mill in North America was assessed for environmental issues in FY2020 and Saiccor Mill in South Africa conducted a self-assessment for social issues in FY2021. Both mills achieved good scores.

SEU
We continued our active participation in the 4Evergreen Alliance which we joined last year. Membership is now at 80 organisations and includes a growing number of brand owners and fast-moving consumer goods companies. A strategy taskforce is working to shape the workplan for 2022 and beyond. The Circularity by Design Guidelines have been drafted and will likely be the first technical output from the alliance to be published.

The Forests Dialogue (TFD) leads multi-stakeholder dialogue processes among key stakeholders, to overcome conflict and spur collaborative action on the highest priority issues facing the world's forests. TFD convened a series of dialogues on Climate Positive Forest Products during 2021.

SNA
We host supplier sustainability summits to discuss issues related to sustainability and we hold numerous one-on-one meetings with suppliers to discuss specific issues related to sustainability.

  Regulatory issues    

Global
There is growing interest in determining how biogenic emissions are reported throughout the value chain. We are actively involved in one of the GHG protocols' working groups to contribute to the formulation of the GHG Protocol on Land Sector and Removals Guidance.

SEU
The EU Taxonomy is a classification system providing definitions on which economic activities can be considered environmentally sustainable and which will shape sustainable finance in the future. A series of documents containing proposed criteria for different Industrial activities were open for public consultation, including the draft forestry criteria, as well as criteria for manufacturing of food products and beverages, including food packaging. Together with other industry members, we provided comment.

We provided input during the formation of the EU Single Use Plastic Guidelines and continue to engage on the EU Forests strategy.

SNA
We continue to provide Lacey Act training for staff and have improved our documentation regarding fibre sourcing declarations.

In the USA, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislative activity focuses on packaging materials. The biggest impact of such legislation is likely to be increased costs to our customers and possible mandates for greater recycled content which could disadvantage and add costs to Sappi products. As both our Somerset and Westbrook Mills are located in the State of Maine, we will continue to monitor the Maine regulatory development process and engage as draft proposals emerge, presently slated for late 2022. We are also actively participating with our trade association, American Forests and Paper Association, in steering their positions to be one that seeks to participate in the regulatory development process.

SSA
The SA Government launched its EPR programme during 2021. It outlines a new approach to waste management for paper, packaging and some single use products, lighting and electrical and electronic equipment. The aim is to divert waste from landfills and increase recovery, recycling and reuse of materials. Sappi is a member of the Fibre Circle, the producer responsibility organisation created for the South Africa paper and paper packaging sector.

  Enhanced forestry management    

SNA
We continued our ongoing participation in Emerald Ash Borer surveys and other pest/pathogen/invasive species quarantines and studies.

We continued to monitor the FSC-US Forest Management Standard Revisions. We have been engaging with land managers, industry associations, peer companies, customers and FSC to raise awareness and concern regarding these changes during the review and commenting periods.

Sappi chaired the National Fibre Sourcing Standards Revision Taskgroup of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®).

We continue to work closely with private land owners through our stumpage programme.

SSA
A milestone was reached when we were awarded the first-ever Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) forest management certificate in the country. The certification will now enable Sappi to offer PEFC-certified wood from its plantations in South Africa, giving further assurance to Sappi's local and global customers that the wood raw material originates from responsibly managed forests. This is in addition to the longstanding certification that Sappi holds for its 394,000 hectares with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Sappi Forests is involved in an initiative to make DNA fingerprinting technology (developed through collaboration with the Forest Molecular Genetics programme) available to small growers and farmers. This will allow growers to determine clonal identity of their material obtained from Sappi nurseries and will be provided through government funding. This is an example of providing access to technology developed through Sappi input and funding together with other South African companies.

In conjunction with the University of Pretoria, Sappi Forests conducted a pilot study to determine if Near Infrared Reflection Analysis could be used to classify susceptible eucalypt hybrids against the pathogen Chrysoporthe austroafricana, a fungal pathogen that causes the development of stem cankers on susceptible trees. The next step will be to verify the model independently and then deploy it operationally. It will be a useful tool to identify hybrids to maintain high purity in nurseries rapidly and cost-effectively.

  Combatting deforestation    

We believe that creating value in standing forests is one of the best ways to combat deforestation in the long term. Engagement with participants along the supply chain from the forests to the customers is active, and Sappi advocates for the importance of sustainable forest management practices, and forest certification as assurance of the supply chain integrity. We are an active member of FSC International's Northern and Southern economic chambers and we are a PEFC International Stakeholder member. We participate to promote and expand forest certification and to ensure that the systems continuously develop themselves to sustain the integrity and robustness of certified supply chains.

We support the recent initiatives of the EU to propose new measures to minimise risks of products causing deforestation to enter the EU market, and share the view that such measures should focus on the real drivers of commodity-induced deforestation, namely conversion of forests to agricultural land.

  Ensuring the integrity of natural resources like water    

Sappi Southern Africa has partnered with WWF South Africa to proactively manage water resources in the uMkhomazi catchment in which our Saiccor Mill is situated. A key component of the partnership is multi-stakeholder engagement in the catchment. The project has four focus areas, namely:

  • Improved water governance through multi-stakeholder engagement
  • Enhanced estuary management and downstream water-use efficiency
  • Alien invasive clearing and wetland rehabilitation
  • Capacity development of local communities in natural resource management.

Opportunities for value creation

  • Address complex topics
  • Develop sustainable, transparent supply chains
  • Maintain and expand markets for our products
  • Enhance understanding of our social and environmental credentials
  • Influence policy and regulations
  • Promote dialogue.

Challenges for value creation

  • High costs and allocation of human resources required for certain industry memberships.

CASE STUDY: Our membership of industry associations

Sappi Limited

  • Business Leadership South Africa
  • Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
  • CEO Initiative (South Africa)
  • CBA
  • Ethics Institute (South Africa)
  • International Stakeholder member of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)1
  • Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry
  • Paris Pledge for Action
  • SAC
  • Textile Exchange
  • UNGC
  • WBCSD Forest Solutions Group’s Forest sector net zero roadmap initiative (project member)

SEU

  • Biobased Industries Consortium
  • BioChem Europe
  • CELAB: Towards a Circular Economy for Labels
  • CEFLEX: A circular economy for flexible packaging
  • Ligninclub
  • 4Evergreen Alliance
  • Confederation of European Paper Industries
  • Eurograph
  • European Joint Undertaking on Biobased Industries
  • Print Power
  • The Alliance of Energy-Intensive Industries
  • The Forests Dialogue

SNA

  • Alliance for Pulp & Paper Technology Innovation
  • American BioFuels Association
  • American Forests and Paper Association (AF&PA)
  • Dovetail Partners
  • Forests in Focus
  • Forest Products Working Group
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • Paper and Paper Packaging Board
  • Sustainable Packaging Coalition
  • SFI
  • University of Maine Paper Surface Science Consortia
  • University of Minnesota Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative

SSA

  • Birdlife SA
  • Business Unity South Africa
  • Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Skills Education and Training Authority
  • Forestry South Africa
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • National Business Initiative (NBI)
  • Manufacturing Circle
  • Packaging SA
  • PAMSA
  • Recycle Paper ZA
  • Shared Value Initiative Africa
  • SANBI
  • Local chambers of commerce and industry
  • World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA)

Sappi Forests

  • Biological Control of Eucalypt Pests
  • Biorenewable Deployment Consortium
  • CAMCORE
  • Eucalypt Pest and Pathogen Working Group
  • Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute
  • Forest Molecular Genetic Programme
  • Institute for Commercial Forestry Research
  • South African Institute of Forestry
  • The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme – founding member

1 PEFC logo licence code: PEFC/01-44-43.

Shareholders, bondholders and banks

Self-assessment of quality of relationships: Good to excellent

Shareholders, bondholders and banks

Why we engage

Our aim is to provide investors (shareholders and bondholders), analysts as well as financial institutions with transparent, timely, relevant communication that provides them with an understanding of our industry, sets out the manner in which we hope to achieve our growth ambitions and facilitates informed decisions.

  Shared priorities     Our response
 

Understanding Sappi's strategy

Return on investment

Transparent information about risks, opportunities and environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, in particular the impact of climate change on strategic and financial decisions

Ability to generate sufficient cash flows to fund our business and service our debt

   
  • Our investor relations department engages with shareholders and analysts on an ongoing basis
  • Our Chairman and CEO engage with shareholders on relevant issues. We conduct ad hoc mill visits and roadshows, and issue announcements through the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) – Stock Exchange News Service (SENS), in the press and on our website (see www.sappi.com/SENS). We publish our annual integrated report (see www.sappi.com/annual-reports) and sustainability reports (see www.sappi.com/sustainability) on the group website. Shareholders and analysts can attend and participate in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) as well as the four quarterly financial results briefings
  • We engage with various ratings agencies, particularly in terms of ESG performance. Recognising the importance of climate change in a financial context, we are incorporating the recommendations of the TCFD into our decision-making processes (discussed further under Responding to climate change)
  • We participate in the CDP Climate and CDP Forests (https://www.cdp.net.en) projects every year, making our submissions publicly available
  • Our Chief Financial Officer and Head of Treasury engage with bondholders, banks and rating agencies on the performance of the company. A key point of discussion was our strong recovery in FY2021 and our return to profitability
  • At the end of FY2020, in response to the impact of Covid-19, we agreed an extension of the covenant suspension period applicable to our debt facilities financial covenants until September 2021 with the first measurement due again at the end of December 2021.

Opportunities for value creation

  • Understanding of and commitment to our strategic direction
  • Enhanced reputation
  • Greater investment confidence
  • Broader licence to invest.

Challenges for value creation

  • Slow post-Covid-19 economic recovery
  • Uncertainty about upcoming environmental regulations.

Suppliers and contractors

Self-assessment of quality of relationship: Good

Suppliers and contractors

Why we engage

We aim to establish mutually respectful relationships with our suppliers and encourage them to share our approach to using woodfibre not only for business profit but also for generational prosperity; investing in and searching for innovative ways to leave the planet better than we found it and making a purpose-driven and meaningful contribution towards the wellbeing and development of employees and communities.

We want to build long-term value partnerships, based on the importance of suppliers to a sustainable supply chain.

  Shared priorities     Our response
  Robust safety procedures and a strong culture of safety    

Given our focus on zero harm in the workplace, we work with our contractors to ensure that they follow Sappi's safety systems and regard their safety as just as important as that of our own people.

In South Africa, Sappi Forests continues to work closely with contractors and their workers to implement the innovative Stop and Think Before You Act safety initiative.

  Transparency into the value chain    

In 2021, we announced a collaboration with EcoVadis to assess the sustainability performance of our suppliers through proactive ratings and evaluations using EcoVadis' methodology. Under the EcoVadis banner, we have been submitting our own sustainability performance to our customers for many years now.

Globally, our procurement team made progress in assessing suppliers against our Supplier Code of Conduct: SEU: 67% of total procurement spend covered; SNA: 53% and SSA 44%. This averages out, on a global basis, to 59% of total procurement spend.

 

Security of fibre supply

Certification

Income generation and job creation

   

SEU: In Europe, we procure wood through well-established wood sourcing companies in Europe (Metsä Forest in Finland, proNARO in Germany, Sapin in Belgium and Papierholz in Austria) all of which operate with an established pool of forest owners and wood suppliers.

SNA: The Sappi Maine Forestry Programme and the Sappi Lake States Private Forestry Programme, staffed by SNA foresters, offer a wide range of services to landowners including contracting with experienced loggers and providing plans to enhance wildlife habitat and forest health. We work directly with landowners, loggers and suppliers to encourage sustainable forest management and provide markets for woodfibre material from harvesting and stand improvement activities. We continue to evaluate, promote and support smallholder certification options where feasible, thereby adding value to both the landowner and marketplace. Procurement practices extend far beyond avoiding controversial sources by requiring the promotion of biodiversity, logger training, forest research, landowner and community outreach, and implementation of best management practices for soil and water conservation, as evidenced by our conformance to the SFI Fibre Sourcing Standard.

During the year we hosted a Supplier Sustainability Summit and held pulp supplier sustainability meetings.

SSA: Qualified extension officers provide growers in our Sappi Khulisa enterprise development scheme with ongoing growing advice and practical assistance. We have established a training centre, Khulisa Ulwazi, for Khulisa growers. The objective is to develop growers' and contractors' skills so that they can conduct silviculture operations economically and to a high standard. Training material has been developed in conjunction with the Institute of Natural Resources and covers areas like entrepreneurship, fire management, harvesting planning, leadership and management development, as well as safety. The Sappi team is partnering with other institutions such as Cedara Agricultural College, to provide the growers with the tools to expand their farming activities so that they can have additional sources of income. This is crucial for timber farmers who must wait years between timber harvests for a return on their investment.

At the end of September 2021, Sappi was involved in 40,697 land reform projects, helping beneficiaries to manage approximately 8,151 hectares of land. Many of these properties previously belonged to commercial farmers who had supply agreements with Sappi. For many of the land claims in which we have been involved, and where there has been a change in ownership, we continue to buy the timber and help to manage those plantations.

The high cost of certification has been an issue for small growers which we have helped to overcome by offering a group certification scheme. In 2021 there were 42 members in the scheme with plantations totalling 41,000 ha. Members delivered 269,000 tons of woodfibre and receive a bonus per ton for certified material delivered.

In addition, we actively contributed to the development of the Sustainable African Forestry Assurance Scheme (SAFAS). The PEFC-endorsed SAFAS now offers affordable forest certification solutions and thus market access especially for the country's smallholders. In South Africa and in Africa altogether, the amount of certified forests is still very low (less than 2%), so this type of work is ground-breaking, and can really make a difference in enhancing sustainable forest management in Africa and thus improve both the level of forestry and also the level of livelihoods.

Opportunities for value creation

  • Improved supplier relations
  • Better understanding of the requirements of the Sappi group
  • Expanded basket of certified fibre
  • Support for local economic development
  • Support for emerging supplier/contractor development.

Challenges for value creation

  • Security of woodfibre supply
  • Ensuring that SMMEs have the right social and environmental procedures in place.

Government and regulatory bodies

Self-assessment of quality of relationships: Good

Government and regulatory bodies

Why we engage

We engage with government departments and regulatory bodies to provide input into issues and regulations that affect our industry. We also engage with regional and local governments and local authorities to obtain support for our operations, show how our activities contribute to local economic and social development and identify issues where we can work together for our mutual benefit.

  Shared priorities     Our response
 

The social and economic benefits of our industry nationally as well as at a local level

Increased investment

Energy issues in general and in particular government moves on carbon taxation

The impact of increased regulations on business

Enhancing sustainable forest management and land use

   

SEU

  • In SEU, we are actively working in a number of forest-sector collaborations to ensure a thriving forest bioeconomy remains an integral part of the EU Green Deal. Through sustainable forest management practices, responsible sourcing, efficient use of resources and manufacturing innovation, the sector provides fibre-based and low-carbon solutions and products and thus boosts the transition into a circular economy
  • In SNA, we engage in forest management planning processes as a stakeholder during public comment processes. In the Lake States (Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin) we are involved in the Minnesota Forest Resources Council and various sub-committees
  • In SSA, through Forestry SA, we participated in the Presidentially led Private Public Growth Initiative in the compilation of the Forestry Sector Master Plan. This has been approved by Parliament and aims to drive sustainable forestry industry, updated regulation and improved collaboration in integrated risk management as well as R&D.

Opportunities for value creation

  • Promote understanding of issues and challenges as well as the strategic value of our industry
  • Help create a more receptive regulatory and policy environment.

Challenges for value creation

  • Policies which take neither our high use of biobased energy into account, nor recognise the important carbon sequestration role played by the sustainably managed forests and plantations from which we source woodfibre
  • Uncertainty about regulatory developments, for example: carbon tax
  • Administrative delays.

Civil

Self-assessment of quality of relationships: Good

Civil society and media

Why we engage

We maintain an open relationship with the media, believing that an informed media is better able to serve public reporting and debate on any issue.

We engage with civil society organisations on issues of mutual interest and belong to key organisations relevant to our operations. We engage with various civil society groups on our societal and development impact.

Globally we interact and engage with a wide range of non-governmental organisations, especially through our participation with forest certification systems (FSC, PEFC and SFI). We leverage these platforms to actively contribute to the growth of forest certification worldwide and collaborate with diverse stakeholders.

  Shared priorities     Our response
 

Business developments

The future of our industry

Our impacts on our communities

Protecting the environment

Developing the bioeconomy

   
  • Join key credible organisations as members
  • Develop personal relationships and engage continually
  • Provide support to and sponsorship for key organisations on issues of mutual interest

SEU: We are actively involved in TFD Steering Committee and provide annual sponsorship to the organisation, so that it can continue to convene diverse stakeholders for dialogue and build solutions to address challenges impacting forests globally.

SNA: We support the Dovetail Partners which works to promote bat habitat conservation efforts in the state and the University of Minnesota Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative. We also participate in the Minnesota Forest Resources Council.

SSA: In terms of civil society, our forestry operations belong to a number of fire associations, given that fire is a key risk on our plantations. We have established a project which coordinated efforts to re-establish the Warburgia salutaris (Pepper-bark tree) in communities and the wild.

Read more: see our 2021 Group Sustainability Report at www.sappi.com/2021GSDR.

Opportunities for value creation

  • Inform and educate media
  • Encourage civil society to share our sustainability and Thrive25 vision through positive actions.

Challenges for value creation

  • Misunderstanding of our environmental impacts.