Suppliers and contractors


Self-assessment of quality of relationships:


Why we engage

Suppliers and contractors are partners in Sappi’s safety, sustainability and ethics journey. They contribute to and enable our progress. Consumers are focused on the whole value-chain and not merely the end-product. The actions and commitments of suppliers and contractors are thus critical to us and our customers.

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

Shared priorities   Our response




Given our focus on zero harm in the workplace, we work with our contractors to ensure that they follow Sappi’s safety systems.

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.

Globally, our procurement team made progress in assessing suppliers against our Supplier Code of Conduct: SEU: 61% of spend covered; SNA: 10% and SSA 1%.

Increased value

Decreased costs

Security of fibre supply


Income generation
and job creation



In Europe, we procure wood through well-established wood sourcing companies wood procurement partners 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. In addition, we are a member of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), which participates in actions supporting and promoting the development of sustainable forestry management tools, including forest certification.


The Sappi Maine Forestry Program and the Sappi Lake States Private Forestry Program, 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.


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 area like entrepreneurship, fire management, harvesting planning, leadership and management development, as well as safety.

In the past 10 years, we have settled claims involving 39,950 hectares of which claimants took ownership of 8,151 hectares and claims for 11, 271 hectares in which claimants preferred to seek compensation. 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.

Sappi Forests continues to pay growers in the group certification scheme a premium for certified timber.

Our ESD department continues to develop and mentor SMMEs.

Opportunities for value creation

  • Security of woodfibre supply
  • 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

  • Ensuring that SMMEs have the right social and environmental procedures in place