Sappi reduces carbon footprint

Paper manufacturer Sappi said on Monday it has reduced its carbon footprint.

“In each region where Sappi operates, we have been working with industry bodies to examine ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing our use of renewable energy,” CEO Ralph Boëttger said in a statement.

One of Sappi’s primary goals was to reduce its carbon footprint by improving energy efficiencies and decreasing its reliance on fossil fuels, he said.

“We are achieving this by streamlining transport systems, making process changes, installing more efficient equipment, reducing purchased energy [electricity and fossil fuel] and by increasing the use of renewable energy—an approach which ultimately results in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

Boëttger said Sappi had made steady progress with CO2 emissions globally per ton of product produced declining since 2005.

In North America, between 2004 and 2008 Sappi achieved a reduction of 27% in total energy use per ton of product produced.

“In this region, more than 75% of all energy used is derived from renewable resources [black liquor, bark, sludges and purchased biomass],” Boëttger said.

The percentage of energy derived from renewable resources for South Africa was 38,1% and for Europe was 31,8%, with Sappi’s global figure standing at 48,6%.

“The figure for South Africa will increase to over 50% once the Saiccor expansion project is fully operational.”

Sappi had also joined the Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change.

“What we do about climate change today has far-reaching consequences for the sustainability of businesses, communities and ultimately the natural world we depend upon for our existence.

“As a renewable resource company Sappi welcomes the opportunity to become involved in a global solution focused on making the transition to a low-carbon economy,” Boëttger said.

The Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change was launched by the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, which is convened by the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership.

“The Communiqué is a private sector call for an ambitious, robust and equitable global deal on climate change that responds credibly to the scale and urgency of the crises facing the world today,” Boëttger said.—Sapa

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