2022 Sappi Southern Africa
Corporate Citizenship Report

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Life on Land

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ecosystems threatened with ecological collapse

The challenge

Almost half of all South Africa’s 1, 021 ecosystem types are threatened with ecological collapse and one in seven of the 23, 312 indigenous species that were assessed are considered threatened with extinction1.

conserve natural habitat and biodiversity

The opportunity

Given that of the 399,996 ha of the plantations we own and lease, 261,605 ha are planted with the remainder managed to conserve the natural habitat and biodiversity found there, we have an opportunity to contribute to enhancing biodiversity. This is reinforced by our use of forest certification systems.

The stakeholders

Sappi, communities close to our areas of operation and ultimately, all South Africans.

The roadmap

We promote healthy ecosystems in the plantations from which we source woodfibre – biodiversity indicators are incorporated into the internationally acknowledged, independent forest certification systems we use. These include the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™ N003159) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC/01-44-43) – all our plantations are certified to both systems. In addition, 85% of the woodfibre supplied to our mills is certified.

1 https://www.sanbi.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/NBA-Well-protected-biodiversity-but-increased-threats.pdf.

Our actions

  • We have committed to enhancing biodiversity in important conservation areas (ICAs) on our landholdings by 10% by 2025. We have mapped our baseline and are developing and implementing management plans. From a conservation management perspective, our priority is to identify those vegetation types that are least protected and of greatest conservation importance and prioritise efforts to safeguard them. There are approximately 156 sites on Sappi-owned land classified as ICAs, adding up to about 38,320 ha of a diverse range of habitats including grasslands, wetlands and riverine areas and natural forest patches. ICAs are areas that are important at the local level and are classified using a systematic conservation planning approach. Criteria that are used include the presence of both plant and animal red data species, the threat status of the ecosystem, the size, connectedness, condition and aesthetic and recreational value of the area.
  • We have proclaimed seven nature reserves on our land, covering approximately 6,350 ha. Looking forward, further potential nature reserves have been identified for proclamation through the Biodiversity Stewardship Programme in KwaZulu-Natal.

The critically endangered Karkloof Blue Butterfly occurs on one of these protected areas on Sappi land.

Enhancing plant survival rates

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Encouraging our stakeholders to enjoy life on land

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