World Business Council for
Case study Sustainable Development
Triple green paper promotes
Sappi fine paper South Africa, a division of the global Sappi group, has announced a major upgrade of its coated paper range at Sappi’s Stanger Mill in KwaZulu Natal. Known as “Triple Green”, the upgrade is based on three environmental “pillars” and research indicates it is a world first.
Triple Green is the latest
innovation from Sappi, which has
an ongoing commitment to
producing high-quality coated fine
paper in a sustainable and
environmentally sound manner.
Every product produced at Sappi Stanger Mill is manufactured according to the principles of Triple Green. These products include Avalon Supreme, Dukuza Plus, Crystal and Platinum Label coated fine paper ranges, as well as tissue wadding, which is used in the production of tissue products such as facial tissues.
Corporations and large companies can now choose an environmentally sound, locally manufactured coated fine paper for their printed communications. Sappi feels this will be important to all the companies listed on the JSE’s Social Responsibility Investment Index, as well as to other companies pursuing or already implementing sustainable development principles.
Three pillars on which Triple Green is based are processes that not only minimize the environmental impact of paper manufacturing and ensure long-term sustainability, but assure end users that the procurement chain has been stringently monitored and certified by independent environmental bodies.
They represent Sappi Fine Paper South Africa’s pledge that:
; The primary source of pulp used in the production of paper products at Sappi
Stanger Mill is sugar cane fiber, sourced from local suppliers;
; The bleaching process is elemental chlorine-free;
; The wood fiber used in the production process is obtained from sustainable and
internationally certified afforestation, using independently audited chains of
custody for incoming fiber.
Sappi Stanger Mill is one of only a few mills in the world that uses sugar cane fiber as its primary source of pulp. The pulp is a by-product of sugar production, the fibrous material remaining after raw sugar has been extracted from sugar cane. As such, it is not only an annually renewable resource but, in effect, a recycled raw material.
On average, the mill’s coated paper and tissue wadding has a 60% cane fiber content and sourced from local suppliers, many of them previously-disadvantaged growers. This practice not only supports regional enterprise, but also eliminates, amongst others, the
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need for long-distance road transport, in turn reducing wear and tear on the country’s roads, fuel consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases from haulage trucks.
“With increasing concerns about energy conservation worldwide, it is equally important that the use of cane fiber in papermaking consumes less energy than traditional methods. This aspect of Triple Green underscores Sappi’s leadership position in world paper production,” says Albert Lubbe, Managing Director of Sappi Fine Paper South Africa, “particularly given that only 6,5% of the fiber used internationally for paper production is derived from non-wood sources.”
The second of the three pillars on which Triple Green is based is the fact the paper is produced without the use of chlorine in the bleaching process. The pulp is bleached using an elemental chlorine-free (ECF) process, which has the following benefits:
; Bleaching process is benign to the environment and paper treated in this way is
more easily recyclable;
; Use of chlorine dioxide and hydrogen peroxide is internationally accepted as
being environmentally friendly and complies with the stringent environmental
regulations of United States Environmental Protection Agency and World Health
; Use of the ECF process results in the strongest of paper fibers, ensuring that
primary fiber sources are optimally utilized; and
; ECF process also provides the highest yield of any bleaching process, also
serving to ensure optimal use of raw materials.
As far as wood fibre is concerned, Sappi tracks and verifies the sources of all incoming fibre to ensure that it has been produced in renewable tree plantations and not derived from ancient, indigenous or rain forests.