Industry bodies and business


Self-assessment of quality of relationships:


Why we engage

Business makes a significant positive contribution to society and is a core partner in developing the world we want to see. Being an active member of trade, voluntary and other business forums and bodies ensures that we help to spread this message, and that issues of concern to us are included in the agenda. We also support and partner with industry initiatives aimed at promoting the use of our products. One of our longest global relationships is with the United Nations Global Compact, to which we have been a signatory since 2008. Under our Thrive25 strategy that 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

Issues that affect the
sustainability of our industry
and products that promote

The impact of increased
regulations on business

The social and environmental
credentials of our products

Ensuring that the positive role
played by business in society is
amplified and recognised


In FY2020:

Globally, we:

  • Committed to the Science Based Targets Initiative in line with our group-wide decarbonisation strategy. Read more: Prioritising renewable and clean energy.
  • Signed up to Business for Nature’s call to action: #natureiseveryonesbusiness.
  • Participated in a biodiversity information pilot with a range of brand owners, and biodiversity experts under the auspices of the Textile Exchange. The latter will be using the information to develop a biodiversity rating tool for brand owners.
  • Collaborated with one of our DP customers on a blockchain project to enhance traceability within the supply chain.
  • Joined the 4evergreen alliance, a group of prominent companies and organisations from all areas of the fibre-based packaging industry, to work together towards a more sustainable economy that minimises the product’s environmental impact. We are collaborating with the 4evergreen alliance to develop a greater understanding of recyclability in packaging, understand the future need for recycling systems and communicate findings to stakeholders.
  • Established a collaboration agreement with HP Indigo’s Alliance One programme that covers commercial and market-related topics. Our Magno Gloss and Satin ranges, and our GalerieArt Gloss and Silk products have also all been certified for use on the HP Indigo-installed base.
  • Provided comments to the Nordic Swan criteria renewal process.
  • Participated in the task force under the auspices of the GRI (Green Resource Initiative) established to propose legislation to combat deforestation.
  • Continued to support The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship in Transforming the Pulp and Paper Industry at the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership. The fellowship seeks to contribute to new pathways within the context of the sustainable pulp and paper industry. It is exploring the valorisation of paper industry side streams and opportunities for further use of wood-based feedstocks in the chemicals and materials markets. Through scoping the potential of new processes and by-products from cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, opportunities to replace fossil-derived products will be advanced.
Clean energy generation,
climate policy and climate

The European Green Deal is a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral in 2050. Sappi provided comments to the industry input that was handed in via the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI).

The Society of American Foresters (SAF) promotes and supports science-based policies and actions that consistently recognise the positive role that forest management plays in: mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the sequestration of atmospheric carbon in resilient, well-managed forests (trees and soil), producing wood-based products to replace both non-renewable materials and fossil fuel-based energy sources. This policy was scheduled to be updated per SAF protocol. Sappi helped to rewrite the policy, expanding the discussion on the role that trees play in sequestering carbon, both as a living tree as well as a wood product.

The energy manager for Somerset Mill is a member of the Maine Climate Council, an assembly of scientists, industry leaders, bipartisan local and state officials, and engaged citizens to develop a four-year plan to put Maine on a trajectory to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 and at least 80% by 2050. By executive order, the state must also achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

In South Africa, Sappi is subject to a carbon tax that came into effect in 2019 and is due for payment at the end of October 2020. While we recognise the need to reduce fossil fuel usage in South Africa, the country urgently needs to promote socio-economic development and enhance competitiveness. Carbon tax poses a potential risk to such growth and competitiveness. We engaged National Treasury via PAMSA to motivate taking into account carbon sequestration by companies that own their own forests. Sappi’s process starts with the planting of trees and our total supply chain is carbon positive. We are still awaiting clarity on whether the proposal will be accepted.

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
  • Promote dialogue

Challenges for value creation

  • High costs and resource allocation of certain industry memberships

Our membership of industry associations

Sappi Limited




Sappi Forests

Joining forces to help progress a sustainable circular economy

In FY2020 we joined the 4evergreen alliance that operates under the auspices of CEPI and brings together participants across the packaging value chain including pulp and paper manufacturers, converters and brand owners. The alliance aims to boost the contribution of fibre-based packaging in a circular and sustainable economy that minimises climate and environmental impact. The alliance works to:

The alliance is a timely response to support the EU’s Single Use Plastics Directive, designed to accelerate development of alternative packaging and enable consumers to make more climate-friendly choices. The work of the alliance is also championing change towards the aim of the European Green Deal: climate neutrality by 2050.

Enhancing understanding of land use and GHG emissions

A member of the Sappi Forests Research team has been working with the World Resources Institute on the GHG Protocol Carbon Removals and Land Sector Initiative Project. This working group will develop guidance on: