Sappi is fifth South African company to receive Science Based Targets Initiative approval of decarbonization goals; CEO says its responsible land and forestry practices, pulp, paper, biomaterials provide value-adding solutions in carbon-constrained world

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July 28, 2022 (press release) –

Sappi becomes 5th South African company to receive approval of Science Based Targets in pursuit of its decarbonisation goals.

The global renewable fibre-based resource company commits to well-below 2oC carbon reduction trajectory. 

Sappi is pleased to announce that the science-based carbon emission reduction target of 41.5% per ton of product has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). 
The official target wording is – “Sappi Limited commits to reduce scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions 41.5% per ton of product by 2030 from a 2019 base year. Sappi Limited also commits that 44% of its suppliers by spend will have science-based targets by 2026.”

Commenting on the approval of Sappi’s targets, group CEO Steve Binnie said: “The process of having Sappi’s decarbonisation targets validated by the SBTi shows our firm commitment to decarbonise our business. This aligns with our ambition to help build a thriving world by unlocking the renewable power of wood fibre. Our responsible land and forestry management practices along with our pulp, paper and biomaterials provide value-adding solutions in a carbon-constrained world. Through our research and development will continue to innovate for the future.”  

Binnie continued: “These targets represent an important milestone in holding ourselves accountable in terms of our decarbonisation transition. Equally, we recognise our responsibility in assisting our customers on their own decarbonisation journeys. Our ambitious target is underpinned by detailed decarbonisation plans in each region based on a combination of capital investments in our assets, process efficiency improvements and increased purchases of renewable energy,”

Our science-based targets set a longer term trajectory and build on our existing 2025 targets and commitments to SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 13: Climate Action

According to Dr Tracy Wessels, Group Head: Sustainability and Investor Relations: “Climate change is already affecting every country on every continent through changing weather patterns, rising sea levels, and more extreme weather events. As an early supporter of the Paris Agreement, our overarching aim in terms of science-based targets is a clearly defined pathway to future-proof growth.  

“With decarbonisation plans in place, and investments flowing into emission reduction projects at a number of our mills, there is a lot of momentum across the company.  Now with validated science-based emission reduction targets, we have even more precision on our longer-term 2030 targets. Additionally, through our new Scope 3 target, we look forward to advancing collaboration with our value chain partners focused on climate action.” 

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