Sappi Southern Africa
Sustainability Report


We are using solar energy at our head office in Rosebank and at the Technology Centre in Pretoria.


Pulpwood chips are digested (cooked under pressure in white ‘cooking’ liquor) into pulp by removing lignin, hemicellulose and other extractives from the wood to free the cellulose fibres. The resulting spent liquor, black liquor, is a dilute aqueous solution of extractives and the inorganic materials used to make up the white cooking liquor.

We call black liquor ‘black gold’ for a number of reasons: It contains more than half of the energy content of the digested wood, and as a renewable, biomass-derived fuel, it replaces fossil fuels, with a corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

In Sappi Southern Africa, 42.7% of the energy we used in 2018 was from renewable resources. Our energy self-sufficiency closely corresponds with this, standing at 43.2%.


  • Own black liquor
  • Own biomass (mostly bark)

We export excess power back into the grid.