People

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People

Seeding and growing human potential

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People Info Header

Seeding and growing human potential is at the heart of sustainability at Sappi—beginning with our own people and extending to the communities where we operate around the world.

We invest in our over 13,000-strong workforce, setting them up for success in the jobs of tomorrow—not just today. Our values are our roots, supporting a culture where all people are treated equally and do business safely, with integrity and courage.

In the communities where we operate, we support actions big and small that can advance human potential. From environment and education to health and welfare, we plant seeds of change and opportunity that can enhance people’s everyday lives.

It’s all part of how we create shared value that benefits our business, our customers’ businesses and the communities we proudly call home.

Our PEOPLE targets

Our PEOPLE targets

Aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Partenariats pour la réalisation des objectifs

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Decent work and economic growth

23% women in management

Decent work and economic growth

85% participation in Employment Engagement Survey

Decent work and economic growth

Achieve ZERO injuries

Decent work and economic growth

83% staff fully engaged with our business

Decent work and economic growth

Achieve 80% declared compliance with Supplier Code of Conduct

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People - Jump Nav
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Supporting communities

Supporting communities

In the communities where we work, we plant seeds of change and opportunity that enhance people’s everyday lives.

By seeding and nourishing human potential, we are investing in the long-term health and vitality of the communities we also call home.  

We strive to respond to the unique and specific needs of each community. While we act locally, we are aligned globally on common themes, including environment, education, health, welfare and entrepreneurship.  

As a company with South African roots globally headquartered in Johannesburg, the significant needs of this country have remained a focus for Sappi since our founding in 1936.  

Enhancing people’s everyday lives also means making Sappi forestlands more accessible for recreation. From birding and species mapping to mountain biking and hiking, our programmes encourage people to get outside on Sappi land and enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer. 

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Ideas That Matter
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Ideas that matter

Our Ideas that Matter grant empowers great ideas—changing lives, communities and, ultimately, the world.

For over 20 years, Ideas that Matter has been supporting the brilliant ideas that make a difference. This year, brilliant ideas take on a new meaning.

The rise of COVID-19 and social justice efforts have greatly affected the needs and actions of communities, and we’re here to help. We acknowledge this shift in urgency, as well as the continuing need for our program, so we are in the process of modifying Ideas that Matter to support nonprofits in the wake of this pandemic and continued social movement.

Stay safe, stay creative, and stay tuned for more!

Sappi Khulisa

Started in 1983, Sappi Khulisa is a tree-farming scheme that initially focused on supporting subsistence farmers in South Africa who had access to 1-20 hectares of land on which to grow trees. Initially, only three farmers participated, working on eight hectares—today there are more than 4,000, working more than 27,000 hectares of land.

Abashintshi

Long-lasting change comes from within individuals and within communities. Against this backdrop, Sappi Southern Africa launched the Abashintshi (’Changers’ in isiZulu) programme, aimed at establishing closer engagement with communities and achieving social change. The project plants seeds of opportunity by training youth to mobilise their communities to develop themselves in line with the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) model.

Global 2025 Sappi Targets (FY19 Baseline)
Partenariats pour la réalisation des objectifs

Créer et activer des partenariats

Related People Story - Supporting Communities - NA

Related People Story - Supporting Communities - NA
North America

Doing right

Doing right

Sappi is dedicated to respecting business ethics and human rights through our actions and values—everywhere we operate and throughout our supply chains.

Our Sappi Code of Ethics and Group Supplier Code of Conduct govern our internal practices and our relationships with contractors, suppliers and neighbouring communities.  

We do not tolerate child labour, forced labour, physical punishment or abuse. We recognise lawful employee rights of free association and collective bargaining. We comply with employment, health and safety laws in every country where we operate and expect our suppliers and contractors to do the same with equally high standards. 

Our suppliers are our partners on this journey striving towards jointly more sustainable outcomes. Through our responsible procurement practices and Supplier Code of Conduct, we work to ensure suppliers understand our values, standards and requirements. 

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Commitment in action

 

Global 2025 Sappi Targets (FY19 Baseline)
Partenariats pour la réalisation des objectifs

Créer et activer des partenariats

Decent work and economic growth

Achieve 80% declared compliance with Supplier Code of Conduct

Related People Story - Doing Right - NA

Related People Story - Doing Right - NA
North America

Empowering people

Empowering people

Our goal is to be a great place to work where all people are inspired in their role and empowered to grow to their full potential. 

Our world-class training and development programmes are designed to do just that, setting people up for success in the jobs of tomorrow—not just today. 

Commitment in action

  • Launched LeadX in 2019 to cultivate and grow future leaders at Sappi—just one of our many leadership and business academies.  
  • Globally in 2019, we spent an average of USD 525 per employee on training and development.
  • Overwhelming majority of Sappi people report having the tools and resources to do their jobs—according to the latest Employee Engagement Survey.
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Skills Centres in South Africa
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Sappi Skills Centres  in South Africa provide unemployed youth with vocational skills related to our mills and plantations. The programme also includes life  and business skills development.  Successful apprentices have opportunities to work with and for Sappi.

 

    Global 2025 Sappi Targets (FY19 Baseline)
    Decent work and economic growth

    85% participation in Employment Engagement Survey

    Decent work and economic growth

    83% staff fully engaged with our business

    Related People Story - Empowering People - NA

    Related People Story - Empowering People - NA
    North America

    Promoting diversity and inclusion

    Promoting diversity and inclusion

    We’re on a journey towards greater diversity and inclusion, cultivating a culture where all people can realise their potential.

    We strive to celebrate and welcome all people at Sappi—no matter their age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, race, sexual orientation or spiritual practice.

    While we're seeding this inclusive culture throughout our company, we're especially focused on educational investments for youth whose values and practices will shape the future of the forest product industry.   

    We believe strongly that cultivating this change is key to our competitiveness and sustainability as a business. The diverse perspectives, ideas and experiences that employees bring to work make us far more resilient and effective. It also makes our governance stronger and our problem solving more creative.  

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    Transformation in South Africa

    The South African government has developed a transformation strategy supported by legal structures to foster and encourage  Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE). Sappi has long been an enthusiastic supporter of this programme in our forestry and manufacturing operations. We currently hold a level two BBBEE contributor rating and continuously strive to improve our diversity profile. Download our BBBEE certificates and learn more.

    Commitment in action

    • Details of bursaries 
    • Funding for studies 
    • Internships and mill visits
    • Youth Employment Service (YES) programme 
    • Millennial digital learning opportunities  
    • Skills Centres 

     

    Global 2025 Sappi Targets (FY19 Baseline)
    Partenariats pour la réalisation des objectifs

    Créer et activer des partenariats

    Decent work and economic growth

    23% women in management

    Related People Story - Diversity - NA

    Related People Story - Diversity - NA
    North America

    Supporting health, safety and well-being

    Supporting health, safety and well-being

    Supporting the health, safety and well-being of our people is the cornerstone of our business. 

    Everywhere we operate, Sappi is focused on creating an environment that is healthy, safe and where all people can thrive. We do not accept that injuries and accidents are inevitable and remain committed to Project Zero, our Groupwide safety initiative. 

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    Commitment in Action

    • All our paper mills are certified to the internationally recognised OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management System.
    • Group focus on all people making safe choices at all times.
    • Embedding risk assessments, group sharing of all incidents and root cause investigations, enforcement of compliance, and leadership engagement.
      Global 2025 Sappi Targets (FY19 Baseline)
      Partenariats pour la réalisation des objectifs

      Créer et activer des partenariats

      Decent work and economic growth

      Achieve ZERO injuries

      Related People Story - Supporting Health - NA

      Related People Story - Supporting Health - NA
      North America

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