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Sappi North America shares sustainability report for 2021

August 5, 2022  By P&PC Staff

Sappi North America recently released its 2021 Sustainability Report. The report includes a high rating from EcoVadis, a world-renowned provider of business sustainability ratings.

Sappi Limited, including Sappi North America, earned a Platinum rating in the annual EcoVadis Corporate Social (CSR) ratings. This achievement places Sappi North America individually and Sappi Limited collectively in the top one percent of all companies reviewed. EcoVadis evaluated Sappi’s commitment to sustainable practices using 21 criteria, including environment, labor and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement.

“Our business strategy, operational efficiencies and critical improvement plans in 2021 drove our strong market performance, while at the same time meeting or exceeding our targets for environmental stewardship,” said Mike Haws, president and CEO of Sappi North America. “These achievements are an encouraging start on our journey toward aligning our 2025 strategic goals with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, an important global benchmark for sustainability.”


Highlights from the report include:

  • Increased women in senior management roles: Sappi set a new goal in 2021 to enhance diversity in its workforce, also aligning with the UN’s SDGs. The company exceeded its goal and appointed 21 percent of women in senior management positions.
  • Reductions in waste and energy emissions: Sappi exceeded its year-end goal to reduce solid waste in landfills, which brings the company closer to its five-year target of a 10 percent reduction. Further, the company also reduced CO2 emissions with the use of 80.7 percent renewable and clean energy.
  • Improved safety rate and investments in safety leadership training: In 2021, improvement in safety increased and four out of five Sappi manufacturing sites experienced their best-ever lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) performance. Additionally, the company invested in safety leadership training across mills with the intent of extending the training to other sites in fiscal 2022.
  • Partnerships in STEM and forestry: In an effort to advance STEM careers for women, Sappi partnered with Girl Scouts of Maine and the Women in Industry division of the Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI). The virtual program teaches girls the science and technology of the pulp and paper industry, including papermaking and recycling.  Additionally, Sappi joined forces with Maine Timber Research and Environmental Education Foundation (Maine TREE Foundation) to host a four-day tour to educate Maine teachers about sustainable forestry and the logging industry.
  • Environmental practices: As an endorsement of sound environmental practices, the Cloquet Mill achieved an overall score of 84 percent on the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s (SAC’s) Higg Facility Environmental Module verification audit. The mill is the first to undergo and complete an external environmental management verification process.
  • Building confidence in sustainable textiles: Through a collaborative partnership with Sappi Verve Partners and Birla Cellulose, forest-to-garment traceability solutions became available for brand owners. Focused on responsible sourcing, traceability and transparency, the partnership ushered in confidence for consumers and brands to ensure their products originate from renewable sources of wood.

“Let me make this real for a moment: our improvement in energy efficiency from the 2019 baseline is enough to electrify over 80,000 homes for a year,” said Beth Cormier, vice-president of research, development and sustainability at Sappi North America. “Our reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, off this same baseline, is equivalent to annually removing over 24,000 cars from our highways. This does not happen without a strong plan to meet these goals, and more importantly, it can only happen with dedicated employees to execute that plan. We accomplished our goals against the difficulties of the COVID pandemic and continual challenges to employee wellness—a real testament to Sappi’s adaptability and perseverance.”

The full report is available here.

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