Sappi to Fund Research on Artificial Intelligence and Bringing Carbon Emissions to Net Zero in the Paper and Pulp Industry as One of the Founding Partners of the Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme

Aug 6, 2018 1:00 PM ET

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 6, 2018 /3BL Media/ - Sappi Limited, a leading global producer of dissolving wood pulp, speciality and packaging papers, graphic (printing and writing) paper and biomaterials, is pleased to announce its support as one of the founding partners of The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme .

The 3-5 year fellowships, announced last week by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), will attract academics from around the world to identify breakthrough solutions to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At launch eight Fellowships have been funded.

The Sappi supported Fellowship will focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goal “Reshaping the future of industry” (SDG9). It aims to build on Sappi’s current engagement with the CISL by investigating how trends of innovation and sustainability will come together to reshape the future of industry – looking at the paper and pulp industry as an initial example and examining drivers including the rise of artificial intelligence and the need to bring carbon emissions to net zero.

Commenting on Sappi’s decision to become a Founding Partner of the Fellowship Steve Binnie, Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Limited, said:

“We have been engaging at a group and European level with Dame Polly Courtice and the CISL team since 2013. They have helped and supported our European industry efforts related to the Green Growth Platform, the development of a new low carbon pulp technology (DES), exploring financing options to support industry’s transformation and investigating block-chain technology for timber certification.” He continued “The challenge for the pulp and paper industry is how to be much more effective than today, both in our journey towards durable sustainability and to the need for economic vitality and employment for future generations. This Fellowship programme and the research it will deliver will help take this work forward. We live in an age of hyper-innovation and we take responsibility for making it work positively. That is why we have chosen a subject which joins the desire and need for sustainable materials with the most revolutionary technology to appear for over a generation – that of Artificial Intelligence. We anticipate that the Fellowship programme will deliver students with a profound knowledge and understanding of these issues which will help drive new solutions for us and others, creating exciting opportunities far into the future.”

CISL, a 30-year old Institute with 80 staff and a network of 8,000 alumni and 250 companies, will host the Fellowship Programme alongside its existing industry collaborations and executive education programmes to foster an exchange of knowledge and ideas.

Speaking at the launch of the Fellowship, Dame Polly Courtice, Director of the CISL said: “The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme will create a rich intellectual space for collaboration between researchers and industry as we seek breakthrough ideas and leadership actions to towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals”.

Over and above Sappi’s topic of Industrial Transformation, the other confirmed research topics include Social and Environmental Accounting; Investing in Sustainable Communities; Sustainable Health; Radical Innovation and Disruption; The Role of Responsible Business in the Community; Inclusive Growth; Pathways to a Circular Economy.

About Sappi Limited
A global leader in dissolving wood pulp and paper-based solutions, Sappi Limited (listed and in the Top 40 on the JSE - SAP), is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa; has over 12,000 employees; manufacturing facilities on three continents, in seven countries (eight operations in Europe, three operations in America and five operations in South Africa) and customers in over 150 countries worldwide

Sappi works closely with customers to provide relevant and sustainable dissolving wood pulp, paper (speciality, packaging and graphic), paper pulp, and biomaterial products and related services and innovations. Our market-leading range of paper products includes: flexible packaging, label, release liner, containerboard and fluting, coated fine papers, casting release papers and in our Southern African region newsprint, uncoated graphic and business papers. These products serve the fashion, FMCG and industrial sectors. Our dissolving wood pulp products are used worldwide by converters to produce viscose fibre, pharmaceutical products as well as a wide range of household and consumer products.

We continue to grow into a profitable and cash-generative diversified business with an exciting future in woodfibre, a renewable resource.

About the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is a globally influential Institute developing leadership and solutions for a sustainable economy.

Through leadership and collaboration between business, government and finance institutions, they believe the economy can be ‘rewired’ to deliver positive outcomes for people and the environment.

They support this by:

  • Building the leadership capacity of individuals
  • Developing the capability of organisations
  • Facilitating collaboration and dialogue across conventional boundaries
  • Catalysing innovation and solutions
  • Building the evidence base for action

Each year they work with business, government and finance leaders in over 250 organisations and more than 1,200 individuals complete one of their graduate or executive programmes. They have a leadership network of over 8,000 senior leaders and practitioners from business, government and civil society who have an impact in every sector and on every continent.
HRH The Prince of Wales is their Royal Founding Patron and has inspired and supported many of their initiatives.

About the Prince of Wales Global Fellowship Programme
The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is establishing a new Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme to research critical global challenges. The Programme is being established in the name of CISL’s Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales.

The Fellowship Programme will help to mobilise global evidence on challenges such as inequality, nutrition, environmental protection with a view to enabling companies and policymakers to play a more catalytic role in building a sustainable economy.
The ambition is to foster new thinking by cutting across conventional boundaries, leading to practical insights, tools and ideas for executives to carry into their organisations.

Working in close association with academic departments and Cambridge colleges, the Fellowship Programme will attract outstanding candidates to undertake interdisciplinary research into cross-cutting themes critical to the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Fellows will be appointed for 3-5 years by an independent Research Oversight Committee (ROC) comprising members of CISL’s Board of senior professors across the six Schools of the University, drawing on co-opted expertise where necessary.

The other founding companies and individuals who will sponsor the Fellowship Programme include: Anglian Water, Asda, AstraZeneca, The Equal Opportunities Foundation, Heathrow Airport Holdings, Paul and Michelle Gilding (individuals), Sainsbury’s and Unilever.

Read more about The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme