2022 Sappi Southern Africa
Corporate Citizenship Report

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Affordable and Clean Energy

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48.1% energy from renewable sources

The challenge

48.1% of SSA’s energy is currently derived from renewable sources, with 90.6% from own black liquor. In line with our commitment to our science–based targets, we are working hard to increase our use of renewable energy.

Renewable and clean energy breakdown (2022)

decrease carbon emissions

The opportunity

Increasing our use of renewable energy helps to decrease carbon emissions in line with our own and the country’s carbon reduction targets, thereby enhancing our competitive advantage.

assessing solar and wind options

The roadmap

We have commissioned a third-party service provider to assess the renewable energy options – both solar and wind – for Sappi’s mills with the aim of providing a zero carbon emission generation source with the lowest tariff for each mill.

electricity is being fed into the national grid
generating income for individuals collecting biomass

Our actions


  • Are using solar heating in our nurseries and Forestry Research Centre
  • Hold a 30% stake in Ngodwana Energy, a 25 MW biomass energy plant at Ngodwana Mill. The plant, which came on stream in March 2022, uses biomass recovered from surrounding plantations and screened waste material from the mill production process. Up to 35 tons an hour of biomass is burned in a boiler to generate steam and drive a turbine in order to generate electricity that is fed into the national grid. The project, which falls under the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme, is generating income for the individuals – mostly youths and women – involved in biomass collection.

Performance against our Thrive25 target aligned with SDG7:

Affordable and Clean Energy

Thrive25 target 2019 base 2022 target 2022 performance Assessment of performance
Increase share of renewable and clean energy by 7% points 44.1% 50.1% 48.1%
Decrease specific total energy by 9% 30.9 GJ/adt 30.0 GJ/adt 34.0 GJ/adt