2020 Sustainability Report

2020 Sustainability Report

At Sappi North America, we recognize that strong, sustainable companies don't merely manage against quarterly financial targets — they invest in the people they employ, they make commitments to protect the planet from the wasteful use of natural resources, and they have a clear vision for achieving profitable growth and prosperity for current and future generations.

Since establishing our first sustainability goals in 2008 and releasing our first Sustainability Report in 2011, we have consistently demonstrated a commitment to transparency, innovation and doing good - environmentally, socially, and economically.

The three pillars of sustainability – People, Planet and Prosperity – remain core to our operations. We are committed to help all our supply chain partners understand the true footprint of our business so that they can trust that doing business with us, means they are doing business with a leader in the industry.

2020 was a year like no other, but we remained committed to our goals and our purpose as a renewable resource company. At the start of the year we made ambition plans to meet strategic business goals by 2025. An important piece of this is the continuation of our employee training, development, and safety. Last year, our employees engaged in an average of 97 training hours, surpassing our 60 hour per employee goal. We also achieved a lost time injury frequency rate of 0.16, the third consecutive year in which we achieved a record low lost time rate. Equally impressive was the reduction in injury severity rate, which moved from 588 lost workdays in fiscal 2019 to 37 in fiscal 2020, a 93 percent reduction.

We also increased our partnerships and certifications with third-party organizations. To start, we have aligned our initiatives globally with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, resulting in ambitious improvement goals.  We signed a letter of commitment to join the Science Based Target initiative aimed at reducing emissions. Sappi’s Cloquet Mill recently completed the Higg FEM sustainability self-assessment for Verve, Sappi’s dissolving pulp brand, with the results exceeding internal expectations. The Higg FEM self-assessment tool is part of the Higg Index suite of tools developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to measure the apparel industry’s sustainability performance and drive supply chain transparency and decision making. Finally, we received the AF&PA leadership in sustainability award for our water stewardship at our Somerset mill. At Sappi, we seek to go beyond merely meeting current customer requirements by partnering in ways that can anticipate future needs.

Highlights of our 2020 Sustainability Report include:

  • How Sappi responded to the pandemic as an essential business. Sappi's mills continued to operate as an essential business during the pandemic, and pivoted to creating new products at the onset of the crisis last spring. Its products are now being used to create face shields, packaging for COVID-19 test kits, and disinfecting wipes.
  • A record year for safety. The safety and wellbeing of Sappi employees continues to be a top priority for the company. The company's injury rates in 2020 were the most favorable in Sappi's history, with a lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) of 0.16. This is the third consecutive year that Sappi set a new best-year LTIFR.
  • Recognition of industry-leading sustainability performance. In 2020, Sappi North America was awarded a Platinum score by EcoVadis, a leader in third-party evaluations of business sustainability performance. Sappi scored in the top 1 percent of companies evaluated within its sector, alongside the company's regional counterparts in Sappi Europe and Sappi Southern Africa.
  • Personal and financial resilience. Despite significant challenges over the past year, Sappi finished 2020 on a positive note. Its operational flexibility, and that of its employees and stakeholders, allowed the company to partly mitigate decreasing demand in some sectors by meeting the unexpected need for other products, such as food packaging and pulp for tissue producers.

We have our eye to the future, not only for the evolution of our business and products, but the impact that we will continue to have on our environment. We strive to find sustainable solutions to everything that we do, and we thank you, our stakeholders, for helping us along the way.

To learn more, download a PDF of Sappi North America’s 2020 Sustainability Report here. Print copies of the report can also be ordered here.

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