Sappi North America Awarded by Minnesota Office of Foreign Direct Investment

Company’s Cloquet Mill Recognized for Impact on the Community, Economy
Sep 22, 2017 4:30 PM ET
(L to R) Representative Mike Sundin; Frank Frederickson, Minnesota Power; Mike Schultz, Sappi; Senator Tony Lourey; Mark Gardner, Sappi; Olga Karagiannis, Sappi; Brian Hanson, APEX; Kevin McKinnon, Minnesota DEED; Ray Higgins, Minnesota Forest Industries; Congressman Rick Nolan

CLOQUET, Minn., September 22, 2017 /3BL Media/ - Sappi North America, a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, today received an award for its investment in the state of Minnesota from the Minnesota Office of Foreign Direct Investment, under the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The award highlights the company’s contributions to the economic vitality of local communities, and its commitment to keeping Minnesota a world-leading business destination.

“We are honored and delighted to receive this award from the Governor’s office for our contributions to the great state of Minnesota,” said Mark Gardner, president and CEO of Sappi North America. “Through the investments made under Sappi’s 2020Vision strategy, we’re ensuring that our Cloquet facility will continue to operate at this high standard for many years to come.”

For nearly 120 years, the Cloquet Mill has produced paper and wood pulp on the banks of the St. Louis River. Sappi North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company has been managing the Cloquet facility for over 15 years. A world-class facility, the Cloquet Mill has been recognized several times over the years, including for its achievements in safety by reaching over 2 million man hours without a loss time injury this past January.

The Cloquet Mill underwent a $170 million capital investment in 2011 to convert the kraft pulp operations to also produce chemical cellulose used in textile and consumer goods markets. Through this product diversification, along with investments in renewable energy and waste reduction, the mill has stayed profitable and competitive in a challenging market.

“I am very proud of all of my coworkers at the Cloquet Mill. We work hard together to make safety a top priority while we continue to do the things necessary to live up to our vision, which is to be a dynamic world-class operation that secures a sustainable future for our employees, business partners and community,” said Mike Schultz, mill manager, Cloquet Mill, Sappi North America. “Sappi’s continued investments make us a bright spot in this industry and helps ensure we can continue to support our local economy.”

The Cloquet Mill currently employs nearly 700 people. In its commitment to training a knowledgeable workforce, Sappi also partnered with DEED and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in 2016 for a Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Grant. Sappi was nominated by APEX, a business development organization based in Duluth, Minn., for this recent award from DEED.  

“To receive this recognition from the State of Minnesota is an honor for Sappi and the local economic development partners. It elevates our region’s strength in innovation, and as an attractive location for national and global investment,” stated Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO.

To learn more about Sappi North America, please visit


About Sappi North America

Sappi North America, headquartered in Boston, is a market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. The success of our four diversified businesses – high quality Coated Printing Papers, Specialised Cellulose, Release Papers and Specialty Packaging – is driven by strong customer relationships, best-in-class people and advantaged assets, products and services. Our high quality Coated Printing Papers, including McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are the key platform for premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. We are a leading manufacturer of Specialised Cellulose used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods, and one of the world's leading suppliers of Release Papers with our Ultracast, PolyEX, Classics and Neoterix lines for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries. Our Specialty Packaging products, such as LusterPrint and LusterCote, represent an important asset in the food packaging and labeling industries. Customers rely on Sappi for high technical, operational and market expertise; products and services delivered with consistently high quality and reliability; and, state-of-the-art and cost-competitive assets and innovative spirit.

Sappi North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with more than 12,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 150 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at: