Message from our CEO
We made considerable progress in every aspect of our
business and had much to celebrate in FY2022. This
is reflected in the exuberant, celebratory images used
throughout this report. They demonstrate that we are
succeeding in realising our purpose of building a thriving
world by unlocking the power of renewable resources to
benefit people, communities and the planet.
We amplified enterprise value with group earnings
before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation
at its highest level since 2000 and regional return on
net operating assets financial performance exceeding
our financial target under SDG8: Decent Work and
Even more worthy of celebration is our excellent safety
performance. Our combined employee and contractor
lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) was the best
ever – an indication that a 24/7 safety approach is being
entrenched in the hearts and minds of our people.
One of the highlights of our year was the opening of
our Saiccor Mill capacity expansion and environmental
enhancement project by South African President Cyril
Ramaphosa. This was the realisation of a promise we
made at the first South Africa Investment Conference
in 2018. Speaking at the opening, the President said:
“It is noteworthy that Sappi continues to use recycled
and sustainable wood sources to produce circular and
innovative bio-based products”.
The President’s words highlight the thread that runs
through all our activities and is entrenched in Sappi’s
DNA: innovation. Whether it’s the Sappi World Wildlife
Fund for Nature (WWF) uMkhomazi water stewardship
project, which falls under SDG6: Clean Water and
Sanitation, or our enterprise and supplier development
(ESD) initiatives. These range from small projects like the aquaponics venture at Ngodwana Mill, to the alien invasive
plant clearing programme, which now incorporates five
businesses. In FY2022, we spent over ZAR245 million
with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), exceeding
our annual target by ZAR133 million.
Our customers benefit from our high levels of innovation,
which help them on their sustainability journeys and
enhance the appeal of their products to their own
customers. One of the ways we met this need in FY2022
was through machine enhancements at Ngodwana Mill.
These enhancements enabled us to increase our range
and quality of kraft linerboard to include lower basis
weights. This in turn is helping our customers decrease
their carbon footprints.
Turning to carbon and climate: climate change has been
called one of the most significant challenges of our
time. Against this backdrop, we were extremely pleased
with the validation of our science-based targets by the
Science Based Targets initiative. Our global target is to
reduce carbon emissions by 41.5% per ton of product
by 2030. We have also made a commitment that 44% of
our suppliers (by spend) will have science-based targets
Although 48% of our energy is currently derived from
renewable sources, our business is still, to a certain extent,
dependent on Eskom. This represents a challenge as most
of Eskom’s power is derived from coal.
However, I know I can count on the creativity and
expertise of our people to help overcome this challenge.
They have done so in the past and continue to do so
every day as we work to meet the needs of a growing,
rapidly evolving society and build a thriving world.