Group overview

Adapt. Advance. Amplify.

Delivering sustained value

growexplore our theme

As a company based on the power of renewable resources, we are well placed to take lessons from nature: When plants grow too quickly and are not properly rooted, they become top heavy and prone to toppling over. Similarly, if there is not enough light, even though tall, they can become spindly and not fit for purpose.

So, while growth is one of our strategic fundamentals, our approach to it is purposeful and phased. This means being responsive to our environment and the impacts of constant change on our stakeholders. It also means being rooted in our legacy of innovation and excellence and grounded by our Thrive25 strategy. Accordingly, we leverage our existing strengths and grow our people to progress in high-impact, high-value areas. We also partner to shape new marketing opportunities and industry standards that will stimulate growth.

Above all, we recognise that growth can only be sustainable insofar as it supports the health and repair of the natural environment on which we depend. And it is only inclusive when value is shared and society is positively impacted.

This is our focus as we work to build a thriving world.

Responding to our context

illumeexplore our theme

Sky lanterns – traditionally called Khoom Fay in China – can be traced back thousands of years to one of the early Chinese dynasties. They were used not only as decorative light sources but also as military signals that could communicate messages across long distances. Today, it is said they are released at traditional festivals to emphasise the unity of family coming together to celebrate the lunar new year. This is represented by the lanterns collecting in the sky and expressing the wholeness of family.

Sappi is situated in many different regions across many different cultures and countries. But we come together as one whole, OneSappi, united by our purpose which is our guiding light: Sappi exists to build a thriving world by unlocking the power of renewable resources to benefit people, communities and the planet.

Passion and excellence are the sparks that ignite thriving. And they're what keep our commitment to create a thriving future for the world and our business burning so brightly. They're also what will continue to illuminate our way forward – today and tomorrow.

Diving deeper into our,
performance and prospects

createexplore our theme

We are creators, relentless in our drive to make everyday solutions more sustainable. We understand that the power of the imagination is one of our biggest strengths and that opportunities don't just happen. Which is why we apply our creative energy to seeking them out and leveraging our partnerships to realise them.

In doing so, we harness the intellectual curiosity and critical thinking of our people to let go of certainties and develop breakthroughs that delight our customers, enable lasting outcomes for our stakeholders and a more positive impact on the planet. This aligns with our values of "making smart decisions which we execute with speed". So that when we fail, we fail fast and move on.

While innovation is key to delivering profit and margin improvement, we do not create merely because we have the available manufacturing assets, skills, technology and IP.

We do so to lead by example, inspire others and create the thriving tomorrow to which we are committed.

Governance and compensation

reflectexplore our theme

Only in still waters do things reflect undistorted. As a business, we take the time to reflect on our past actions – including assessing our relationship with our stakeholders, particularly our people – to understand more clearly where we have succeeded, where we could have done better and how we can continue to build sustainable competitive advantage. This investment in reflection enables us to calibrate the solutions we provide and our response to the world around us.

As OneSappi, we understand that like dropping a stone into a pond creates outward ripples, in today's interconnected world, our actions and decisions can have a significant impact. For example, our decarbonisation actions alone cannot bring the world to net zero, but they can have a ripple effect that influences and encourages others.

Many people think of excellence as an upward journey, but at Sappi we view it as going round and round in ever-expanding, infinite waves. This view is reflected in the use of irregular waves which symbolise energy and unity used as a design element throughout this report and in the above image.

Going forward, we will continue to focus on excellence with energy and clarity and unity of purpose.


celebrateexplore our theme

Any sporting great will tell you that, even if they are an individual performer, their wins are due not just to their own prowess, but also to the work taking place behind the scenes. Most specifically, their win also belongs to the team backing them up – from the coaches who are with them every step of the way; to those who believe in them, even when obstacles seem insurmountable.

As we celebrate an outstanding year, we readily acknowledge that it is the outstanding perseverance, collaboration and commitment of our extraordinary people that delivered the results. We do not forget that it took tremendous courage from our people to implement the decisions that ultimately delivered so handsomely.

Together, over the last few years, we have been through some challenging times. We have taken some tough decisions and have had to make difficult calls.

Our people have countered volatility with agility, setbacks with courage and problems with perseverance and ingenuity. Through it all, they have held the flag of OneSappi and our purpose of building a thriving world high.

Together, even as we celebrate what we have accomplished, we are committed to maintaining our momentum.


Our business model

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  • Inputs The resources and relationships on which we rely
  • Our activities Our value streams
  • Outputs Our products, services and waste products
  • Outcomes The broader impacts of our business activities
  • Actions to enhance outcomes
  • Examples of our trade-offs The most difficult decisions made during the year





  • 19 production facilities across the globe (see Where we operate)
  • Technology centres in Europe, USA and South Africa
  • Debt: US$1,163 million
  • Equity and liabilities: US$6,229 million
  • Research and development (R&D) investment: US$47.6 million
  • Investment in growth: US$1,194 million.


  • Total assets: US$6,229 million
  • EBITDA (excluding special items) US$1,339 million
  • Net debt of US$1,163 million
  • US$104 million paid to governments as taxation
  • US$1,070 million paid to employees as salaries, wages and other benefits
  • US$108 million paid to lenders as interest
  • Resumption of dividend payments
  • Our high levels of innovation give our customers a competitive edge in global markets
  • New products developed to meet changing customer expectations and market trends
  • Implemented a series of price increases in our paper businesses to offset rising input costs
  • Ongoing diversification of our product portfolio into higher margin segments
  • Commercialisation of biomaterials gaining traction
  • Significant actions in all regions to resolve logistical issues
  • Sale of three mills in Europe will help to reduce debt.

Although we have proven the technology to extract xylose sugars from our prehydrolysis kraft cooking processes, we have taken a step back as we identify potential market partners to develop commercial opportunities for bio-based products from this sustainable feedstock.

Risk     Supply chain disruption
Risk     Cyclical macro-economic factors
Risk     Liquidity



Social and

  • Employees: 12,495
  • South African contractor employees: approx. 9,350 contractor employees (average)
  • Weighted average training spend per employee: US$602.42
  • Ongoing stakeholder engagement
  • Corporate social responsibility investment: SEU €100,000, SNA US$417,000, SSA ZAR54 million.


  • Zero fatalities
  • Global training average (weighted) of 46.89 hours per employee
  • Productivity 3.8 hours worked per ton of saleable production (FY2021: 4 hours)
  • Maintained our Level 1 BBBEE contributor status
  • Globally, 74% of suppliers now in compliance with the Sappi Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Continued investment in embedding a safety culture across the group
  • Focus on entrenching transformation in our South African operations to support inclusive growth
  • Investment in training and development of our employees, 65% allocated to skills training and 35% allocated to compliance training
  • Strong governance and ethical culture reinforced by the Code of Ethics (refreshed shortly after year end)
  • Social impact strategy in SSA gaining traction.

The sale of three mills in Europe could potentially impact employees.

Risk     Employee relations



  • Plantations:
    – 399,996 hectares (ha) owned and leased, of which 261,605 ha are planted
    – the remainder is managed to conserve the natural habitat and biodiversity found there
  • Energy purchased: 2,661.7 MW
  • Energy generated on site: 2,021.2 MW
  • Renewable energy 53.9%, of which 66.5% own black liquor
  • Water extracted: 300.82 million m3 in absolute terms, 34.4 m3/adt in specific terms
  • Certified fibre used: 77%.


  • At stand level, our plantations have a negative impact on biodiversity. At plantation level, we manage this impact by managing approximately one-third of our landholdings for biodiversity
  • Lighter weight packaging products – lighter carbon footprint
  • High levels of water withdrawal
  • 77% certified fibre supplied to mills enhances competitive advantage
  • Year-on-year decrease in specific Scope 1 and 2 emissions of 4.8%
  • Progressed our science-based targets which have now been validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)
  • Finalised our climate change strategy
  • Continued to shape our response to the impact of climate change on our plantations.

The implementation of our science-based targets will require significant capital investment of approximately US$70 million per annum.

Risk     Sustainability expectations
Risk     Climate change
Risk     Liquidity
  • Forests
  • Manufacturing excellence
  • Biomaterials
  • Pulp
  • Packaging and speciality papers
  • Graphic papers


  • 6,657,941 tons of saleable production.


  • 1,494,161 tons of waste generated, of which 1,146,618 tons (76.74%) diverted from disposal.


  • 4.1 million tCO2e absolute direct (Scope 1) GHG, in specific terms: 0.61 tCO2e/adt.