JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 17, 2020 (Press Release) -Sappi has joined businesses around the world in calling for ambitious, collective action for nature. Covid-19 is causing societies, businesses and governments around the world to focus on ways to emerge more economically resilient from the crisis. With nature at a tipping point – nearly one million species are at risk because of human activity – we also need to focus on how to reverse nature loss.
With this in mind, Sappi Limited has signed up to Business for Nature’s Call to Action, a global coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and business groups including the International Chamber of Commerce, WWF, We Mean Business, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Business for Nature's campaign 'Nature Is Everyone's Business' has particular relevance for Sappi, given that our business is dependent on sustainably sourced woodfibre. We recognise that nature underpins our prosperity and wellbeing by providing economic value and security, supporting human development and equality and increasing our resilience to climate change.
Graeme Wild, Group Head: Investor Relations and Sustainability commented: “The key is action. Taking action means doing something with meaningful benefits for the natural world.
Our foundation is built on responsible manufacturing and responsible forest management. We act for nature in all regions where we operate and look forward to new opportunities to work together to protect, restore and sustainably use natural resources.”
In South Africa Sappi owns and leases 390,000 hectares (ha) of land of which 135,000ha is unplanted with 101,000ha comprising natural vegetation, 14,000ha under restoration and the remainder comprising roads and other infrastructure. The areas under restoration are sites from which forestry operations plantations have been withdrawn, mainly to limit impacts on streamflow and restore natural habitat. Using systematic conservation planning, we have identified seven areas of national and international importance that have been formally declared as Nature Reserves. Another 166 sites have been classified as Important Conservation Areas and receive special management according to management plans that have been drawn up using specialist conservation advice.
Globally, we also enhance sound forestry management practices by utilising credible, third-party-verified forest certification schemes. We neither harvest nor buy woodfibre which originates from tropical natural forests and our wood sourcing causes zero deforestation. Our commitment to zero deforestation means knowing the source of woodfibre; ensuring that suppliers implement practices to promptly regenerate forests post-harvest, which is required under the global forest certification standards that Sappi is committed to upholding.
Together with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)17: Partnerships for the Goals, we have identified SDG15: Life on Land as one of our global priority areas. Accordingly, within Sappi´s new 2025 Sustainability Targets, we have made further commitments to biodiversity conservation and will be enhancing the way we measure and report on our restoration work.
Sappi is a leading global provider of powerful everyday materials made from woodfibre-based renewable resources. Together with our partners, we are quickly moving toward a more circular economy.
As a diversified, innovative and trusted leader focused on sustainable processes and solutions, Sappi is powered by the expertise of more than 12,000 people worldwide; with headquarters in four key regions: South Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.
Our raw material offerings (such as dissolving pulp, wood pulp and biomaterials) and end-use products (packaging and specialities papers, graphic papers, casting and release papers and forestry products) are manufactured from woodfibre sourced from sustainably managed forests and plantations, in production facilities powered, in many cases, with bio-energy from steam and existing waste streams. Many of our operations are energy self-sufficient.
Sappi works to build a thriving world by acting boldly to support the planet, people and prosperity.