Sappi North America Is Working Towards Its Environmental Sustainability Goals

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Sappi North America, a subsidiary of Sappi Limited with over 2,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada, focuses on sustainability. The company established long term sustainability goals in 2008, called 2020Vision. One of those goals is to ensure that 60 percent of its fiber content is certified by third-party certification programs, including the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). 

Already, all of its wood fiber is sourced from well-managed forests according to FSC controlled wood standard and the SFI certified sourcing standard, as its most recent CSR report details. In 2014, Sappi started purchasing most of its kraft fiber for its Cloquet paper mill and achieved 66 percent, its highest level of certification. Last year, Sappi purchased less certified market pulp and produced more of its own and as a result, achieved 58 percent total certified fiber content. Its three North American mills have the capacity to make 1.16 million metric tons of paper and 855,000 metric tons of pulp.

Part of being a good forest steward is tracing the origin of wood. Sappi records the origin of each load of wood it receives at its mills. Representative samples of its deliveries to its mills are traced to confirm the accuracy of the provided information. In addition, the state of Maine requires all timber harvests to be registered with the Maine Forest Service, which inspects the operation for environmental compliance. Maine also requires the of a trip ticket for any wood transported to market. The trip ticket identifies the owner, place of origin and the wood’s destination. Sappi uses a trip ticket system in Minnesota. 

Another 2020Vision Goal is to reduce the total amount of energy expended in making each ton of product by five percent. That goal is a global goal, and not limited to North America. The company supplies over 70 percent of its energy needs with renewable fuels. In 2015, its mill personnel implemented energy intensity reduction projects. By the end of the fiscal its energy intensity was flat compared to the 2014 baseline. 

Sappi has several waste reduction goals. One of them is reducing pulp raw material waste by 10 percent. As a result of improvements made to the bleaching process at its Cloquet mill, it is seeing significant reductions compared to the 2014 baseline. Another waste reduction goal is reducing paper mill raw material waste by five percent. 

Managing solid waste and finding ways to reduce it is a focus at all of Sappi’s North American mills. Its Cloquet mill and Somerset mill are good examples. Increased lime kiln capacity at the Cloquet mill increased internal recycling of lime mud and decreased waste to landfill. Using more natural gas at the Somerset mill caused less waste to landfill from ash generated during biomass combustion. 

Much water is used to make pulp and paper. Sappi’s North American mills only use surface water sources (rivers and lakes) and return treated water to the water sources. At its Cloquet mill, it returns the water to a publicly owned treatment facility, which then returns the water to Lake Superior. 

Photo: Sappi