Actions speak louder than words

Brussels - Sappi employees took deep oxygen-filled breaths as they got ready to inject positive energy into their personal sustainability initiative.

For Sappi Fine Paper Europe, sustainability is more than just about being green. The company’s recently launched Positivity Campaign embodies Sappi’s broader sustainability vision which incorporates Prosperity, People and Planet through Positivity stories generated by Sappi people. For the third time, on 02 December 2011, Sappi employees injected their positive energy into planting 2,000 trees in the nearby Forêt de Soignes, a team building exercise which has the effect of counteracting the greenhouse effect. 2011 is the International Year of Forests which makes this annual tree planting event even more appropriate this year.

Sappi has been working with ANB (Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos) since the beginning of 2010 to develop this employee-led sustainability initiative. Now, after their third tree planting outing, Sappi employees are responsible for planting over 5,000 (1) trees in La Forêt de Soignes, a forest located in the south-eastern part of Brussels covering an area of over 4,400 hectares. Dirk Raes, Forester in the Forêt de Soignes has helped Sappi employees get their hands dirty; “We love to welcome people into our world and give them an insight into the work that we do in maintaining our forests.” Dirk and his team are responsible for the planting of 30,000 trees in the Forêt de Soignes every year as part of the National Forest Management Plan. The Sappi team of over 50 people planted a variety of species along a forest road, bridging a space between two previous planting projects. Species included beech, hawthorn, and hornbeam as well as shrubs to create a more diverse and dynamic environment. The smaller plants allow more light through, which attracts insects and butterflies.

Many misconceptions exist about the paper and print industry, particularly in relation to the environment. Making paper does not destroy forests; making paper adds substantial value to forestry products industry. It plays a key role by sourcing pulpwood and woodchips in rural areas of Europe and thus financing the sustainable management of our forests. Interestingly paper is a relatively small consumer of wood: of the wood extracted from the world’s forests, 42% is used for energy production, 24% is used by saw mills and only 17% is used directly by the paper industry (2). Nonetheless, sustainable forest management ensures that less timber is harvested than actually grows. And the track record is impressive: in Europe, forests are increasing annually by an area the size of more than 1.5 million football pitches (3).

In the knowledge that for every tonne of wood a forest produces, it removes 1.47 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air and replaces it with 1.07 tonnes of oxygen, Sappi and its Brussels based team look forward to planting many more thousands of new trees, and to enjoying and sharing the benefits of the ones that they have already planted (4).

1. Spring 2010 – 1,250 trees; Spring 2011- 2,200 trees; Winter 2011 – 2,000 trees
2. Eurostat ‘Forestry in the EU and the world’ 2011/Sappi Paragraph Magazine
4. Urban Forestry Network/My Life in Print



Additional information for media


Positivity: To read Sappi’s Positivity Story and to learn more about the initiative please visit: 
My Life in Print: For additional information on why print and paper are key to a sustainable future as well as an insight into the richness that print brings to the lives of people in all sorts of places and in all sort of situations, please order your free copy of Sappi’s 'My Life in Print' from 

About Sappi

Sappi Fine Paper Europe is the leading European producer of coated fine paper used in premium magazines, catalogues, books and high-end print advertising. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, Sappi Fine Paper Europe is recognised for innovation and quality. Its graphic paper brands include Magno, Quatro, Royal, Galerie and GalerieArt ranges. Algro, Fusion, Leine and Parade are the brands for speciality labelling, topliner, packaging papers and boards. Top and Jaz are the paper brands for digital printing.


Sappi papers are produced in mills accredited with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification and EMAS registration for all our mills in the EU. SFPE’s mills hold chain-of-custody certification under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and/or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) schemes.


Sappi Fine Paper Europe is a division of Sappi Limited (NYSE, JSE), a global company
headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with over 17,000 employees and manufacturing
operations on four continents in nine countries, sales offices in 50 countries, and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at


For further information, please contact:


Elsa Mouillé
Press and Media Relations Coordinator
Tel: +32 (0)2 676 9725
Mobile: +32 479 58 8009