Our management approach
Recognising that healthy ecosystems are vital to our survival, wellbeing and prosperity, conducting our business in an environmentally sustainable manner is a necessity and an obligation. This obligation is integral to our licence to operate on an individual, community, country and global level. It also makes sound business sense, given that we depend on natural resources such as water and woodfibre for our ongoing viability as a business.
We acknowledge that we do have an environmental footprint, however we carefully manage and mitigate the environmental, climate and biodiversity impacts of our operations. We achieve this by working towards the Planet commitments embodied in our Group Sustainability Charter (see https://www.sappi.com/policies).
To realise these commitments, we have a far-reaching environmental management approach which includes:
- Having environmental targets in place in each region. Progress in achieving targets is monitored closely and reported to the management teams in each region on a regular basis, quarterly to the Global Sustainable Development Council (GSDC) and biannually to the Social, Ethics, Transformation and Sustainability (SETS) Committee
- Using internationally recognised, independently verified accreditation systems including ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and in Europe, the Eco Management and Audit System (EMAS) and ISO 50001 in Europe and South Africa, as well as the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) (woodfibre)
- Striving to minimise the environmental impact of our operations in terms of raw materials and energy use
- Developing new production methods and products and finding innovative new ways of beneficiating side streams
- Saving water and energy at every stage in production processes. This begins in our South African plantations, where we apply best practice management techniques to produce woodfibre with properties that allow it to be pulped using less energy and water
- Ongoing investment in research and development
- Monitoring environmental performance and legal compliance at each mill, by constantly assessing our performance in terms of energy dashboards, integrated water and waste management plans, air emissions, and effluent
- Taking appropriate, pre-emptive action to avoid or mitigate identified environmental risks, and
- Ensuring that we keep up with environmental best practice through an internal environmental ‘cluster’ comprised of experts in various fields.