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Sappi aligns to the UN SDG’s

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At Sappi, we are unlocking the power of renewable resources to meet the needs of the planet while seeding prosperity for all. Building a thriving, sustainable world is a moral and business imperative that affects every decision we make, including aligning our strategies, plans and activities to global initiatives, in particular the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Through our spirit of eco-effective ingenuity, we nurture the renewable resources that allow us to deliver on our promises and supply everyday products such as food packaging. Being environmental stewards and purveyors of sustainable business practices is core to who we are.

The 2030 UN SDG’s envision economic wellbeing, social inclusion and environmental sustainability as interconnected. This aligns to Sappi’s new Thrive 25 business strategy. We have identified nine priority UN SDG’s as the framework for creating a thriving organisation and country. These nine SDG’s include no poverty, quality education, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life on land and partnerships for the goals.  

Our commitment to sustainability is embedded in People, Planet and Prosperity (the 3 Ps) and is underpinned in our vision.


Within the communities we operate in, we support actions big and small that can advance human potential. While we act locally, we are aligned globally on common themes including environment, education, health, welfare and entrepreneurship. We achieve this by striving to respond to the unique and specific needs of each community, investing in our 12 000+ strong workforce and setting them up for future success. Another way Sappi is achieving the people’s value of our business is by respecting business ethics and human rights through our actions and values. Sappi strongly supports our communities and partners worldwide to fulfil our belief in building a stronger, more sustainable supply chain.


We consciously choose to innovate with biobased materials to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. We uphold our responsibility by focusing on circularity, renewable resources and eco-effectiveness. By thoughtfully sourcing materials, reducing material waste, mitigating emissions, carefully considering product end-of-life and aiming to use the full potential of trees, Sappi actively promotes more sustainable systems to address the balance of functionality versus sustainability. 

We are achieving this value through responsible sourcing of woodfibre from well-managed forests and striving to continually increase the share from certified forests. We are committed to the Science Based Target initiatives and are actively mapping our decarbonisation pathways across the business. We are also committed to ensuring zero deforestation and we explore new and better ways to optimise performance, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and enhance our use of renewable energy. We practise sustainable forest management on our land because it ensures clean air and water, protects biodiversity and defends climate change, among other critical benefits.

World Environment Day was on 4 June and the theme for this year was  restoring ecosystems. Sappi plays a key role in building a biobased future as we restore, conserve and maintain biodiversity and natural forest areas. Our sustainable forest management practices enhance forest carbon stocks and sinks, while wood products can store carbon over the long term and can substitute for emission-intensive materials. In short, these forestry practices promote clean air and water and protect biodiversity.

Sappi owns and leases 394 000 hectares of land in South Africa. One third of this land is managed for biodiversity conservation. There are approximately 160 Important Conservation Areas (ICAs) and seven declared nature reserves, all within Sappi managed land. We have established a biodiversity 2025 target to enhance biodiversity in our conservation areas by 10% per annum.  


At Sappi, we make it our responsibility to enable people and communities to prosper with us. To build a thriving world begins with championing innovative approaches to responsible forestry. It continues as we strive to make the most of every tree, by-product and other resources across the value chain. With creativity and ingenuity, we are engineering new production methods and biobased products to support the circular economy our world needs. The ways we are continuing to achieve this business value include; making what we should, not just what we can, in our R&D centres; setting ambitious targets aligned with the United Nations Sustainability Developmental Goals; proving it’s possible to use 100% of every tree we harvest; the promotion of and commitment to sustainable forestry management; and transparent reporting on sustainability measures.

Sustainability is an ever-evolving process. As an industry we need to help educate consumers to make better choices every day. We need to be more aware of our impact on the planet and how we can work together to change the world. 

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