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The clownfish and sea anemone
Neither clownfish nor anemones need each other to survive but, through mutualism, they thrive better together.
Group Sustainability Report
About this report
Scope of this report

This report is aligned with our  annual integrated report and covers the period from the beginning of October 2018 to the end of September 2019. We report on a regional and global basis, wherever possible presenting data over five years to make the information relevant, accessible and comparable. Safety, health, environmental and quality (SHEQ) data is compiled according to international best practice. Commentary is provided on graphs to enhance understanding and specific measurement criteria-as well as instances where these have changed—are clearly spelled out.

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Message from Steve Binnie
Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Limited

The past year was extremely challenging in light of slowing global growth and market volatility, driven by issues like escalating trade wars and Brexit.

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Message from Valli Moosa
Chairman of the Social, Ethics, Transformation and Sustainability (SETS) Committee

Our theme for this year's report is mutualism, present in every aquatic and terrestrial habitat. Mutualisms are crucial to the reproduction and survival of many plants and animals and to nutrient cycles in ecosystems. In fact, ecologists now believe that almost every species on Earth is involved directly or indirectly in one or more of these interactions.

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Our performance against our 2020 global sustainability goals

In line with our 2020Vision and One Sappi strategic approach, in 2015 we established ambitious global sustainability targets. Regional targets are aligned to these goals.

The base year is 2014, with five-year targets from 2016 - 2020. Capital spend budget over five years will be used to determine targets in various elements.

We will be establishing new 2025 targets in 2020, aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Certification systems

Certification systems, eg the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) (FSC; ref FSC-N003159), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) are referenced throughout this report, without providing detailed information about each of our operations’ certification status in each instance, to ensure ease of reading.

Certification information for each mill is available on


We follow contemporary 'short scale' convention; defining one billion as one thousand million.


When data is expressed in specific form, this means that the actual quantity consumed (energy, water, etc) or emitted (emissions, solid waste, etc) is expressed in terms of a production parameter for the period indicated. For Sappi, as with other pulp and paper companies, the parameter is air dry tons (adt) of product.


We standardise all our reported measurements using the metric ton equivalent to 1,000 kg.

Exchange rates

We have used the following exchange rates:

US$/ZAR: 14.3
US$/EUR: 1.12

Throughout this report, Sappi's regional business units are referred to as:

SEU Sappi Europe
SNA Sappi North America
SSA Sappi Southern Africa

Various websites, research reports, trademarks, registered trademarks and other forms of intellectual property are referenced in this report. All of these, whether marked or unmarked, are without exception acknowledged as the legal property of their owners.