Our approach to promoting healthy forests in Europe

Curious about how Sappi operates in Europe? About our impact on European forests and how we source the woodfibre in our products? We’re glad you’re here, and happy to explain.

First, you might be surprised to know that unlike in South Africa, Sappi doesn’t own or manage any forestlands in Europe. Instead, we partner with suppliers to provide the woodfibre we need in our mills across Europe. Ensuring this woodfibre is responsibly sourced from sustainably managed forests is our top priority. We rely on forest certification from world-leading independent organisations to ensure that we deliver on this promise.

Our woodfibre procurement policy ensures rigorous tracing practices and origin documentation for all woodfibre in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™ C015022) Controlled Wood Standard and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC/07-32-76), specifically PEFC’s Chain of Custody standard's due diligence requirements. Today our European suppliers for round wood and chips include Sapin S.A, proNARO, Papierholz Austria and Metsä Group.

Forest certification matters

Practicing sustainable forestry is an art and science. Certification is the keystone to striking this balance. It not only provides a framework and compelling incentives for forest owners to practice sustainable forestry that delivers environmental, social and economic benefits. It also provides crucial independent evidence for companies like ours up the supply chain that these strict standards are met with rigour.

Through certification we’re assured that all our woodfibre comes from known and controlled sources, regularly audited by independent third parties. It’s how we know that our woodfibre comes from forests where biodiversity, soil and water quality, forest health and the needs of local communities are met for present and future generations. It’s our assurance that Sappi woodfibre doesn’t knowingly come, for instance, from illegally logged forests or cause deforestation.

“As of 2022 in Europe, we sourced 87 percent of our woodfibre from certified forests”, explains global certification manager, Leena Hytönen. “Together with our suppliers, we’re working to achieve even more.” Learn more about certification with Sappi.

Procuring woodfibre responsibly

The majority of the woodfibre we procure in Europe comes from forests close to each of our mills. In Ehingen Mill in Germany for example, 96 percent of the beech, ash, and spruce pulpwood and chips originate from Germany. This not only supports European jobs and growth, but also reduces carbon emissions from transport - a move consistent with our broader decarbonisation roadmap.

In Europe we have a total of nine pulp and paper mills in Finland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands and one production facility in Scotland specialised in lidding for highly specialised packaging. Take a closer look at our European presence.

Our European mills employ eco-effective production methods that continuously lighten our environmental footprint. Many are powered with bioenergy from steam and existing waste streams and some operations are entirely energy self-sufficient.