Paper heavyweight steps up to the global sustainability challenge

03 July 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201915265

Forestry, Pulp & Paper

HOMEGROWN paper and pulp multinational Sappi has become an International Stakeholder member of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

Chief Executive Officer Steve Binnie said this membership aligns with the company’s focus on sustainable forest management and responsible procurement throughout its supply and value chains.

“Credible, internationally recognised, robust forest certification systems like PEFC are fundamental to Sappi’s commitment to sustainability. These systems give assurance to our value chain of the origin of our woodfibre and responsible forest management practices,” he said.

Graeme Wild, Sappi’s Group Head of Sustainability and Investor Relations, said, “Given that stakeholder engagement underpins our approach to doing business at Sappi, we welcome the opportunity to become a PEFC International Stakeholder member.

“Through voting in PEFC´s General Assembly and joining Working Groups and Committees we look forward to sharing our expertise and contributing to the mission of PEFC.

“The collaboration reinforces our contribution towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and in particular SDG 15 - Life on Land; given our common priorities to promote sustainable forest management and support smallholder forestry around the world,” Wild said.

He added that PEFC is also increasingly becoming an important forest certification option in South Africa, responding to customers’ requests for PEFC labelled products.

In recent years, Sappi has been collaborating with national stakeholders to develop a national forest certification system. “These efforts have now delivered the South African Forest Assurance Scheme (SAFAS) – which has recently been assessed and endorsed by PEFC.”

The PEFC is a leading global alliance of national forest certification systems. As an international non-profit, non-governmental organization, it promotes sustainable forest management through independent third-party certification.

PEFC provides forest owners, from the large to the small, with a tool to demonstrate their responsible practices, while empowering companies to buy sustainably. The PEFC label enables consumers to recognize products originating from a PEFC-certified forest - a forest managed in line with strict environmental, social and economic requirements.

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