Skip to main content

Focusing on greenhouse gas emissions

Mitigating climate change and staying well below 2 °C degrees temperature rise requires urgent and collective action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a responsible business, we need to focus on reducing our GHG emissions. This not only helps us achieve our aim of treading more lightly on the Planet but considers impending carbon taxes in many countries (already introduced in Finland and South Africa).


Calculating GHG emissions

In 2019 SNA updated the eQ GHG calculator and made it available on the SNA e-commerce portal. This online tool enables our salesforce and customers to calculate the carbon savings achieved by buying of SNA graphic and packaging products as compared to the industry average, highlighting our superior carbon footprint compared to the competition.

4 Scope 1 emission calculations are based on the GHG Protocol, using IPCC emission factors (chapter 2, table 2.2, 2006) and 5th Assessment GWP factors.
5 Scope 2 emissions are calculated on the market-based method as defined by the GHG Protocol.

Direct emissions (Scope 1) (t CO2e/adt)


Globally, specific direct emissions were stable. In SEU, the slight increase was attributable to the rebuild of PM8 at Lanaken Mill, which led to significantly lower saleable production, and from the integration of Rockwell Solutions, with its production differing from our other mills. Reduced production at other mills led to a small increase. There was a slight decrease in SNA. The increase in total GHG emissions at Somerset Mill, due to increased use of tyre-derived fuel based on economics, was offset by higher production levels. Coal use at Westbrook Mill reduced. GHG emissions went up at Cloquet Mill due to increased throughput from the lime kiln. In SSA, the slight decrease was due to: Improved use of renewable energy resulting in reduction of coal combustion and higher power imports at Ngodwana Mill; improved coal quality, ongoing optimisation of airflows, grate speeds and general boiler optimisation at Stanger Mill and improved boiler efficiencies at Tugela Mill.

Indirect emissions (Scope 2) (t CO2e/adt)


Globally, there was an increase in specific indirect emissions. SEU was stable, with an overall decrease was offset by Lanaken Mill, where the rebuild on PM8 led to reduced production. The increase in SNA was due mainly due to the increase in the CO2 emission factor in power purchased from the power utility. Total purchased power at Cloquet Mill decreased, partially offsetting the increase at Somerset Mill. There was an increase across all mills in SSA due primarily to a deterioration of 9.4% in the emission factor of power purchased from Eskom, the state power utility, even though Stanger Mill improved Scope 2 efficiency. Other reasons included: Imported power at Ngodwana Mill increased due to a pulverised fuel boiler tube leak in Q2 and a shut in Q3. Commissioning the new woodyard at Saiccor Mill and filling chip piles consumed additional power. In addition, the new screening plant at the mill consumes additional power without additional production. The turbine generator #7 was also steam restricted and stopped regularly.

Absolute direct (Scope 1) and indirect emissions (Scope 2) (m tCO2e)

Scope 3 categories (%)


We are committed to acting responsibly throughout our value chain. Calculating Scope 36 emissions will allow us to make decisions based on price and suppliers' environmental performance. Integrated and non-integrated mills will also be more comparable when the sum of total Scope 1 + 2 + 3 emissions is considered.

The GHG Protocol divides Scope 3 emissions into 15 categories. Sappi reports emissions in categories 1-7, as these are most material to our business. To provide a clearer picture of Sappi's Scope 3 emissions, we plan to improve the accuracy of Scope 3 data and investigate categories 8-15 more closely in FY20.

For most raw materials and upstream transport, standard secondary emission factors have been used from public databases, primarily from DEFRA and EcoInvent. Primary emission factors were used for pulp suppliers. Accuracy of Scope 3 emissions will be increased by using more primary data-collecting emission factors directly from suppliers.

The three most significant categories for Sappi are purchased goods (category 1), fuel and energy related activities (category 3) and upstream transport (category 4) which comprise approximately 98% of the total Scope 3 emissions.

6 Sappi uses the GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard (also referred to as the Scope 3 Standard) to determine indirect emissions resulting from value chain activities (Scope 3 emissions).


Ratcheting up pulp integration at Ehingen Mill

In 2019, a team at Ehingen Mill worked to increase the level of pulp integration, ie the amount of pulp a mill produces onsite compared to pulp purchased on the market. Given Ehingen's changing product portfolio over the last four years, pulp integration had been declining due to the needs for specific pulp qualities only attainable by using market pulp. However, an innovative approach led to reversing this trend and achieving a significantly higher integration rate in 2019. A diverse mill project team succeeded in finding the right processes, recipes and grade structure that made it possible to increase the integration from 73.4% to 77.3%. This reduced the mill's dependency on purchasing market pulp, and delivered a range of positive environmental impacts through avoided transport, reduced refining, and use of never-dried own pulp. This corresponded to savings of 4.273 tons of steam, 553 MWh electricity, 500 tons CO2.