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Key relationships

We believe that building relationships with our stakeholders in a spirit of trust and mutual respect enables more tangible business value creation.



Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.


We view stakeholder engagement not as a once-off annual intervention but as an ongoing dynamic process. This enables us to respond to the changing nature of shared priorities of parties who are interested in, and affected by, our business. To enhance our understanding of, and communication with, our stakeholder groups we consider: expectations, existing relationships, cultural context and capacity to engage (language barriers, IT literacy, access to digital resources).

Our approach to engaging with all stakeholder groupings is based on inclusivity and the principles of:

  • Materiality: Identifying the legitimate interests and material concerns of stakeholder groupings
  • Relevance: Focusing on those issues of legitimate interest and material concern to our stakeholders and to Sappi, and identifying how best to address them for our mutual benefit
  • Completeness: Understanding the views, needs, performance expectations and perceptions associated with these legitimate and material issues and assessing them against prevailing local and global trends, and
  • Responsiveness: Engaging with stakeholders on these issues and giving regular, comprehensive, coherent feedback.

Our stakeholder work is aligned to the governance outcomes of the King IV Code, namely ethical culture, performance and value creation, adequate and effective control and trust, good reputation and legitimacy.

In terms of feedback loops, we assess the quality of our relationships both formally (employee engagement and customer surveys as well as Poverty Stoplight in South Africa which assesses the impacts of our social investment programmes) and informally (suppliers, investors, industry bodies and business, civil society and media).