Key relationships – Communities

We work to incorporate the communities close to our operations into our journey of intentional evolution, which recognises the importance of sharing value with all our stakeholders; conserving natural resources and uplifting people so that they are well positioned to thrive in our increasingly inter-connected world. We launched a new Group Corporate Citizenship Policy (see in 2018.

There are various formats of community engagement meetings held by our mills in the regions where they operate. These range from broad liaison forums for business, local government and communities to legally mandated environmental forums which form part of the licensing conditions of mills. In South Africa, there are local farmer and community forums related to our forestry communities.

Shared priorities

  • Community support including employment, job creation, business opportunities, economic and social impacts/ contributions and community support.
  • Environmental issues relating to biodiversity conservation as well as water usage and quality, effluent quality and air emissions.

Our response

Sappi Europe

  • Mills offer support and financial sponsorships to local schools, sport and hobby clubs, forest products industry students, local safety/environmental organisations and also support local charities. At one mill in SEU, 2% of the savings created through continuous improvement were donated to local charities selected by staff.
  • Kirkniemi Mill is a partner of the Association for Water and Environment of Western Uusimaa (LUVY) which works with water conservation, environmental protection and environmental health in southern Finland.

SEU is a member of the
Save Food initiative,
a joint initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Messe Düsseldorf and Interpack. The initiative aims to increase awareness and fight the critical issue of food waste.

Sappi North America

  • Each business unit has a lead sustainability ambassador who is responsible for supporting sustainability communication, conducting training and fostering community engagement through local projects.
  • Education programmes are supported at targeted colleges and universities as are programmes to encourage study in fields relevant to our operations.
  • Our employees support initiatives like Living Lands and Waters and the Charles River Watershed Association focused on environmental stewardship and education.
  • The Ideas that Matter programme continues to recognise and reward designers who support good causes.

Regarded as the world’s most respected accolade of excellence in printed communications,
the SNA Printer of the Year award
recognises superior innovation and creativity in print for work produced on Sappi papers. A total of 1,500 entries were received in 2018 with 11 gold award winners, and Classic Color, honoured as the 2018 Printer of the Year. This printer was selected for the book Baron Wolman Presents The Rock & Roll Revolution, featuring photographer Baron Wolman, best known for his work with Rolling Stone photographing concerts in the late 1960s. Printed on Sappi Opus Gloss Text, the book features candid photos of some of America’s greatest rock stars.

Sappi Southern Africa

Given South Africa’s significant development needs, community support is mainly focused in this region and includes: (see People – Sharing value – Sappi Southern Africa.)

  • Sappi Khulisa, our enterprise development schemeThe Abashintshi programme
  • The Abashintshi programme
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Education, including Khulisa Ulwazi, our training centre for small growers and two Sappi Skills Centres for local unemployed youth, one at Saiccor Mill and the other at Ngodwana Mill
  • The African Honey Bee project, and
  • Support for local tourism through our mountain biking sponsorships and promotion of recreational riding on Sappi land.

Value add of engagement

  • Enhances our licence to operate.
  • Promotes socio-economic development which could in the long term, lead to increased demand for our products.
  • Initiates real social mobilisation and change for the better.

African Honey
Bee (AHB) project,

which is positively impacting on communities in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province (South Africa), aligns with our approach of helping communities to help themselves. The AHB project is a social enterprise enabling families from disadvantaged rural communities to build sustainable micro-beekeeping businesses by leveraging the natural resources available to them. Over the past two years, AHB has trained 1,482 people in KZN. Of this number, 962―and counting―are actively keeping bees and producing and selling honey.

Stacked wood log image