Our value add to daily life

With a growing global population and increased per capita wealth, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of resource scarcity and the need for efficiency. In the context of greater consumer awareness, societal demands for sustainable products will only grow.

Our products add value to people’s lives every day and are used in the following ways:

  • Our Verve DWP is used worldwide by converters to create viscose fibre for fashionable clothing and textiles, pharmaceutical products as well as a wide range of consumer and household products.
  • Quality specialities and packaging papers are used in the manufacture of such products as soup sachets, luxury carry bags, cosmetic and confectionery packaging, boxes for agricultural products for export, tissue wadding for household tissue products and casting and release papers used by suppliers to the fashion, textiles, automobile and household industries.
  • Our market-leading range of printing and writing paper products are used by printers in the production of books, brochures, magazines, catalogues, direct mail and many other print applications.

We contribute to society through payments to governments, suppliers and employees, as well as returns to shareholders.

We facilitate social and economic wellbeing by using labour drawn from local communities, and the services of small- and medium enterprises situated in the areas around plantations and production facilities. We also have a best practice training programme and, through our corporate social investment programme, together with our enterprise development programme in Southern Africa, invest in the socio-economic development of the communities in which our workers live.

Working in the dark | IMG

The indirect economic benefits of our operations impact on sectors including technical, construction and engineering services which are outsourced to a wide variety of contractors. The chemicals industry, in particular, is one of our major suppliers. In addition, the provision of services including the collection of waste paper for the industry and the outsourcing of non-core activities such as maintenance, medical services, transportation, cleaning and security creates opportunities for small-, medium- and micro enterprises.

In 2018, we added value to the Prosperity of the regions where we operate:

  • By employing 12,645 employees, including 624 contractors globally. In addition, just over 10,300 people are employed by contractors working for Sappi Forests (SSA).
  • By creating millions of dollars’ worth of goods each year: In 2018 sales per region were:
    -   SEU: €2,494 million (2017: €2,319 million)
    -   SNA: US$1,432 million (2017: US$1,360 million)
    -   SSA: ZAR18,325 million (2017: ZAR17,489 million).
  • By contributing to domestic growth and the balance of payments in each region where we operate by exporting products to over 150 countries around the world.
Floating Perfume | Image

Value added over the last three years

Value added over the last three years 2018 | Graph

Adding value in each region where we operate

Our products play an integral part in the everyday lives of people across the country and around the world. We play an important role in society, offering efficiently manufactured, fully recyclable products, made from renewable raw materials. The forestry industry is one of the strategic economic sectors in each region where we operate, and makes a significant contribution to economic growth and job creation―particularly in rural areas, where employment and income generation opportunities are more limited than in cities.


In 2017, the pulp and paper industry provided 177,000 direct jobs in Europe directly―63% of which were in rural areas. Annual turnover is €82 billion annually and the industry yields 2x higher return on investment than average manufacturing.1

North America

The forest products industry is one of the largest manufacturing segments the United States of America (USA), accounting for approximately four percent of the total USA manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP), manufacturing over US$200 billion in products annually and employing more than 900,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of approximately US$50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states.2

The industry is a major contributor to the national economy, shipping goods that are worth more than US$200 billion annually. The forest products industry represents nearly 4% of USA manufacturing GDP. For every 100 jobs in the industry, the paper and allied products industry supports 325 jobs in supplier industries and local communities, while the wood products industry supports an additional 225 jobs outside the industry.3

Southern Africa

According to Forestry South Africa, the forest products sector in South Africa employs approximately 158,400 people, with 60,200 people directly employed and 98 ,200 in indirect jobs. Overall, forestry provides livelihood support to 692,000 people.

The forest sector (forestry and forest products) contributes about 1% to national GDP. In terms of regional GDP, forestry in in Mpumalanga contributes 5.45% and 2,90% in KwaZulu- Natal. Total investment in 2016 stood at ZAR42,9 billion.