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.
All wood fibre used at Sappi Stanger Mill
is certified by either the Forest
Stewardship Council, the Programme for
the Endorsement of Forest Certification,
the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or
Canadian Standards Association
International. These are the world’s
foremost forestry certification programs
and are based on a comprehensive
system of principles, objectives and
performance measures that have been
developed co-operatively by industry,
environmental and social bodies.
To receive certification from any of these
organizations, wood products must go Stanger Mill
through a rigorous auditing process,
confirming their origin. Sappi’s
commitment to using only certified source fibre, together with its conservation programs, demonstrates that the group is fundamentally committed to preserving indigenous forests and areas with a high conservation value and does not use wood from poorly- managed, non-certified plantations. At Sappi, conserving and protecting natural resources is a fundamental business philosophy. It is an integral aspect of every part of the group’s business, as this ensures an investment in its own future as well as in the environment and the communities in which it operates.
Triple Green is a reflection of Sappi’s overall strategy. Sappi is committed to sustainability in all areas of its business and lives this commitment by promoting long-term socioeconomic development, ensuring the overall well-being of all people working for and
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with Sappi, and by carefully managing the impact of its operation on the natural environment.
In line with this strategy, Sappi is also committed to good corporate governance in all aspects of its business, which includes its commitment to broad-based black economic empowerment.
Sappi further supports many environmental initiatives in KwaZulu Natal and across South Africa. Those operating close to Sappi Stanger Mill include the Sappi/WWF TreeRoutes Partnership, the Ixopo Bee-Keeping Project, the Project Grow small timber growers scheme, the Sappi/ Endangered Wildlife Trust Blue Swallow Working Group and the Sappi Stanger Mill Environmental Liaison Committee.
Sappi feels that these initiatives are as fundamental to long- term sustainability as good corporate governance and environmentally sound production. Sappi’s approach is to seek integrated solutions to the challenges facing its business, staff, communities and the environment.
The Sappi/WWF TreeRoutes Partnership was created in 1999 with grant funding of R10 million from Sappi. Administered by the WWF, the objective of the partnership is to create and support eco-tourism projects that allow for both the socio-economic development of rural communities and the preservation of rare habitats.
One of the most significant community-based projects undertaken by Sappi in KwaZulu Natal has kept this balance firmly in mind. The KwaDukuza Resource Centre was established by Sappi in 1996, after it had identified the need for a center of this kind to service the communities in which the workers from Sappi Stanger Mill and Sappi Tugela Mill live. It provides educational and ICT facilities, resources and training programs that would otherwise not be available to these communities.
Given the many environmental and social benefits of the process, Sappi looks forward to marketing the Triple Green products to corporate companies, publishers, printers and consumers who support the use of recyclable, biodegradable and acid-free local paper.
For further information on Sappi’s Triple Green paper range, e-mail
Melanie.Lourens@sappi.com or visit www.sappi.com.
The National Business Initiative (NBI) of South Africa produced this case study. As a voluntary business coalition of 140 leading South African and international companies, the National Business Initiative (NBI) seeks to enhance the business contribution to sustainable growth and development in South Africa.
About the WBCSD
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) brings together some 190 international companies in a shared commitment to sustainable development through economic growth, ecological balance and social progress. Our members are drawn from more than 30 countries and 20 major industrial sectors. We also benefit from a global network of 50+ national and regional business councils and partner organizations.
Our mission is to provide business leadership as a catalyst for change toward sustainable development, and to support the business license to operate, innovate and grow in a world increasingly shaped by sustainable development issues.
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