Key relationships – Customers

We adopt a partnership approach, whereby we develop long-term relationships with global, regional and local customers. We also accommodate more transactional customers. Where relevant, we will conduct R&D and develop products to suit customers’ specific needs.

In addition to the usual avenues of engagement, we engage through initiatives like the Sappi Football Cup, now in its eighth year (SEU), Printer of the Year (SNA) and by sponsoring the Citrus Research Symposium (SSA).

Shared priorities

  • New or enhanced products that meet rapidly changing market demand.
  • Support in terms of paper, packaging, dissolving wood pulp (DWP) and sustainability goals.
  • Information and campaigns to promote print as a communication medium and encourage the use of packaging.
  • Information about the fibre sourcing and production processes behind our brands.
  • Provision of technical information.

Our response


In 2018 we branded our DWP range as Verve and also launched other new products:

Seal: A packaging paper with integrated sealing functionality
  • Spectro C1S and Proto Litho C1S: New packaging grades
  • Fusion Uncoated: A white topliner
  • Fashion White and Fashion White OF: For shopping bags, and
  • Atelier: A premium folding boxboard.

We also established Sappi Digital Solutions, focused on the dye sublimation papers market.


  • In terms of DWP, Technical Centres of Excellence are located at Saiccor and Cloquet Mills.
  • Customers can make use of the Competence Centre for Speciality Papers and Paper Laboratory at Alfeld Mill.
  • In SNA, the Sustainability Customer Council provides candid feedback, identifies emerging issues and helps to establish goals.
  • In 2018, SNA launched:
    • True or False: An informative guide about coated and uncoated paper myths and facts, and
    • The Five Second Rule: A promotional resource focused on direct mail.

Filled with entertaining urban legends and popular misconceptions, SNA’s new
True or False
booklet challenges frequently heard myths such as, “humans only use 10% of their brains” and “lightning never strikes the same place twice.” It also refutes the widespread belief that uncoated printing papers cost less than coated. In addition to comparing costs, performance capabilities and environmental benefits between coated and uncoated sheets, True or False presents an actual side-by-side demonstration of the same image printed with the same press settings on McCoy Matte and Silk and two comparable uncoated grades, so readers can see the tactile and visual differences for themselves.

Information and campaigns

  • We showcased our brands at Fach Pack (where we launched Atelier); LUXE PACK MONACO, SGIA, FESPA Berlin, HOW Design Live.
  • Globally we continue to participate in industry initiatives like TwoSides.

We exhibited for the first time at
where we met with converters, designers, brand owners, printers, finishers and others. We shared information on the positive impact the premium solid bleached boards of our Algro Design family could make in terms of shelf appeal and total consistency in communication for branded products including cosmetics, perfume, confectionery, luxury drinks, lifestyle and fashion.

Information about fibre sourcing and production processes

  • At the request of our customers, we participate in EcoVadis and Sedex.
  • In SEU and SSA, we publish Paper Profiles and information sheets for our papers.
  • In SNA, we use GreenBlue’s Environmental Performance Assessment Tool (EPAT) which enables buyers to evaluate our performance on a mill-by-mill basis.

Technical information

  • A series of technical brochures is available on our website

In addition, there are specific initiatives in each region:

Sappi Europe

  • The Sappi Houston online knowledge platform.

Sappi North America

  • The newly launched POP site ( is aimed at marketers, creatives, designers and printers looking to innovate in their categories.
  • Sappi etc ( is an educational platform for designers and printers.

Sappi Southern Africa

  • Our paper and paper pulp product offerings are supported by strong technical teams at each mill and the Sappi Technology Centre in Pretoria.

Octoboost is Sappi’s cloud-based high-tech solution
which supports printers along the digital transformation. Through its E-Commerce Module, it allows printers to set-up and scale up Web-2-Print portals with Magento 2.2 technology easily and cost-efficiently. It also offers a Print Efficiency Module, which provides powerful print intelligence insights and drastically reduces print costs through dynamic planning and gang run printing. Subscription to the software is starting to grow, with 25 printers in the first early adopter wave as at year-end. Octoboost has recently been nominated for the Innovation of the Year prize by the German magazine, Druck+Medien.

Value add of engagement

  • Meet customer needs for products with an enhanced environmental profile.
  • Innovate to align with evolving market trends.
  • Increase awareness of the importance of sustainability.
  • Promote our customers’ own sustainability journeys.
  • Keep abreast of market developments.
  • Showcase our products and promote the Sappi brand.

Sappi Football Cup

SEU’s Sappi Football Cup is an annual event for Sappi customers, printers and publishers. Once again in 2018, SEU welcomed 12 qualifying teams from an original pool of 180 teams to Brussels (Belgium) to compete for the Sappi Football Cup table football tournament title. The three winning teams representing France, Germany and Poland, won tickets to the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final in Kiev on 26 May 2018.

EUFA Champions League Final KYIV 2018 | Graphic


With brand manufacturers and consumers looking for alternatives to plastic packaging materials, our new product, Seal, will contribute to the use of more resource efficient and renewable materials for flexible packaging.

Seal was developed for use as flexible standard packaging in the food and non-food sectors, where hot sealing properties are required. This includes primary packaging, such as sachets, but also secondary packaging, such as flow-wraps for sweets, toys or DIY goods. In addition to its excellent hot sealing properties, Seal also provides a good barrier against water vapour. The new speciality paper is also recyclable within the paper waste stream.

Seal can be opened easily and smoothly, without uncontrolled tearing. Its homogeneous and light surface provides good printability and finishing properties with all common finishing techniques. Its natural appearance and pleasant feel ensure an eye-catching brand presence. Seal is available with FSC®- and PEFC™-certification and was produced according to the requirements of recommendation BfR XXXVI (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung – Federal Institute for Risk Assessment). Seal is available in 67 g/m2.


Following extensive market research to determine what the market was looking for, where the gaps were, and what would constitute a breakthrough product for the folding boxboard (FBB) market, we launched


In our solid bleached boards Algro Design line, the bright white, silky smooth finish has been a resounding success, and we wanted to duplicate that in FBB. But we also needed to ensure the market- leading rigidity, bulk and strength necessary for an FBB product.

Atelier meets all of those specifications and more. It is a convergence of ideas and craftsmanship that will clearly set us―and our customers―apart in the FBB world.

With a brightness level of 100% on the top side, Atelier exceeds the market standard compared to a current industry top value of around 92%. On the reverse side, Atelier offers a brightness factor of 98.5% to accommodate the increasing demand for printing on both sides of the board for added impact.


Building on the highly successful Fusion Topliner, we launched

Fusion Uncoated,

a fully bleached fresh fibre liner, thereby expanding our product offering for the high-volume corrugated board market. Ideal applications include corrugated board and carton packaging requiring a high white appearance for the topliner, inner liner and fluting. Fusion Uncoated is approved for direct food contact and is recommended for use when branded product manufacturers, designers and corrugated board processors are seeking an alternative to brown liner papers. These applications include inner packaging such as white corrugated board inserts for high-end perfume boxes as well as food packaging. These often-unprinted cartons present a luxury surface finish thanks to their high level of whiteness. Other application’s include display and shelf-ready packaging, for which uncoated paper finishes are often the preferred option.