Ensuring continuity of fibre supply
The responsible management of the forests and plantations from which we source woodfibre underpins our sourcing activities. This means that forests and plantations are managed for regeneration and healthy regrowth, thereby contributing to more resilient landscapes.
In SEU, we mitigate fibre supply risk through shareholdings in wood sourcing cooperatives and on a combination of approaches which include both short- and long-term wood supply agreements. Similarly, in SNA, we rely on long- and short-term supply agreements, but also improve access to small woodholdings through the Sappi Maine Forestry Program and the Sappi Lake States Private Forestry Program. These two programmes, staffed by SNA foresters, offer a wide range of services to landowners including contracting with experienced loggers, providing plans to enhance wildlife habitat and forest health, as well as advice in complying with town, state and federal regulations.
In SSA, Sappi Forests owns and leases 379,000 hectares of land. We also have access to wood from a further 129,181 hectares via contracted timber suppliers.
Sappi Forests’ planning section documents, monitors and models its woodfibre resources to ensure that a continuous and sustainable supply of timber is available as required by different markets. Planning incorporates planting permits and water licences as well as information for non-plantation areas.
Growing stock data is used for determination of the value of forestry assets. Accurate information about growing stock is obtained from systematic sampling of stands and growth models used to model stand development over time. Conventional sampling is supplemented by LiDAR data. Adjustments to growing stock are made for damage caused by pests and diseases as well as climatic extremes and fire risk. Sophisticated software is then used to produce annual operational, tactical and strategic supply plans. The planning section incorporates species recommendations from the research section in the three-year planting plan. In addition, we use remote sensing and GIS analysis to assist with the identification and management of biotic and abiotic risks. We enhance our fibre base through leading-edge tree improvement programmes which aim to produce low-cost wood with the required pulping characteristics and increase yield per hectare. We achieve this mainly through genetic selection of planting stock.