Sappi takes a very active approach to social responsibility, driving key initiatives in support of our three key stakeholder groups: our employees, our customers and the local communities in which we operate.
One of the ways we improve the lives of people is by promoting freedom of association, nondiscrimination and the abolition of forced and child labor. We also uphold the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sappi Limited has been a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) since 2008. We submit an annual communication on progress that describes our company’s ongoing efforts to support the social and environmental principles of the UNGC. This report can be found at sappi.com under the “Group Sustainability” section.
Managing our solid waste and finding ways to minimize it remains a focus at all of Sappi North America’s mills.
The conversion of the Cloquet pulp mill to manufacture dissolving pulp resulted in increased quantities of lime mud due to the cooking requirements of this higher-purity pulp. The impact of this change can be seen in both the total solid waste to landfill and the tonnes of solid waste processed through the Cloquet Mill’s beneficial use program with local farmers. Lime mud and boiler ash are used as a soil amendment to help farmers raise the soil pH, improving growing conditions for certain crops.
All pulp and paper mills in North America use and treat water in accordance with comprehensive environmental permits.
Sappi's North American mills use only surface water sources (rivers and lakes) and return treated water to the same primary source. (At Cloquet, we return the water to a publicly owned treatment facility, where it goes through additional purification and is then returned to Lake Superior.) We returned almost 93 percent of the water we used, creating a minimal water footprint. Water that is “consumed” in our operations is primarily made up of water lost to the environment due to evaporation during the paper drying process and a small amount of moisture contained in our finished products.
In Sappi's 2012 report, we adopted a calculation method used by the U.S. Department of Energy and the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA).
In this method, energy consumption from purchased electricity is calculated in terms of fuel inputs to account for different fuel efficiencies during power generation and efficiency losses in power transmission. The equivalent energy value is represented in terms of sources as per power supplier-provided data. Our Westbrook Mill does not buy power, and the mill energy profile reflects sales of Renewable Energy Certificates
For several years, Sappi North America has had a major focus on the reduction of fossil fuels and the emissions associated with combustion.
Intensity is a term that describes the usage of resources for, or output from, the manufacture of a set unit of product. We exceeded an aggressive five-year goal of a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity in just three years and are now working to reduce energy intensity. Overall, our performance in 2014 against these key emissions metrics was in line with 2013. A markedly colder winter impacted fuel consumption, slightly increasing our sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, but we remain significantly below the industry average as reported by AF&PA.
One hundred percent of Sappi North America's fiber is procured in accordance with the SFI® Fiber Sourcing standard as well as the FSC® Controlled Wood standard.
These third-party certification programs provide assurance that wood-based products have been procured from well-managed forests and are legally harvested. In 2014, we purchased more kraft fiber than historic levels to support the papermaking operations in Cloquet after the 2013 conversion of that pulp mill to dissolving wood pulp. All of our purchased pulp was certified by one or more standards, which is reflected in the higher percentage of “triple certified” fiber and in part responsible for us reaching our five-year goal one year ahead of schedule.
The safety, well-being and expertise of all employees is critical to the success of Sappi North America.
Through our innovative safety culture, health and wellness programs and ongoing training, we are able to attract and retain highly skilled people and help them realize their fullest potential in the organization.
Paper products are often described as inherently sustainable—recyclable products made from renewable resources that are produced using renewable energy.
At Sappi we are also committed to sustainable or “smart” consumption of paper, eliminating wasteful use. Only by using paper wisely and purposefully can we be assured of meeting growing demand for generations to come.