​Sappi Forests

Sappi Forests own and lease 400,000 hectares (ha) of land, of which ~261,000 ha is planted and ~139,000 ha is unplanted natural areas set aside and maintained to conserve the natural habitat and biodiversity found there, following best practice principles. All our land – including the ~139,000 ha managed for biodiversity conservation – is FSC® (FSC® C012316) and PEFC certified.

We have identified investment in low-cost wood as both a growth driver and a strategic resource in order to supply our operations and to secure our margins in competitive commodity markets, such as dissolving pulp (DP). To this end, we continue to work with local government and communities to accelerate afforestation in KwaZulu-Natal and the northern region of the Eastern Cape. This development not only provides one of the only sources of income and jobs to these local communities but will also secure valuable hardwood timber resources close to our Saiccor Mill in KwaZulu-Natal.

In addition to Sappi’s own plantation area, we continue to identify ways to ensure access to pulpwood in the wood baskets close to our key operations, by means of land or timber delivery swaps.

The plantation industry in South Africa faces an increasing threat from pests and diseases. Sappi Forests, a leader in research and development (R&D), continues to mitigate these risks through improved site species matching, the deployment of improved genetic planting stock and the introduction of specific hybrids from our conventional breeding programmes.

The state of the art Clan Nursery, with a capacity of 17 million cuttings (vegetatively propagated plants), and the Ngodwana Nursery, provides Sappi Forests with the required facilities to rapidly deploy the improved genetic planting stock to mitigate these threats.

Sappi’s activities offer the rural poverty areas in South Africa an economic life line. One of the ways we promote prosperity in the broader community is through Sappi Khulisa (previously known as 'Project Grow'), a community tree farming project which has successfully uplifted impoverished communities in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

You can watch the Sappi Khulisa video here.

Our objective is to provide consistent and clear guidelines and assistance to Sappi’s contracted growers, to ensure the sustainable development and protection of our forests for future generations. Sappi’s ‘Tree Farming Guidelines for Private Growers’ cover topics such as species selection and planting through to harvesting and extraction, and also provide much-needed information on fundamental issues such as safety and proper planning and scheduling processes.

The guidelines are divided into five sections and can be downloaded in PDF-format by clicking on the relevant links below.

If you're a private grower, Sappi is here to support you. Get our guides to learn best practices and tips of the trade.

Find out more about the Sappi Southern Africa Executive Committee.

Sappi Paper and Paper Packaging operates four mills and has a production capacity of 86,000 m³ sawn timber, 660,000 tons of paper and 645,000 tons of paper pulp per annum.
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Sappi’s Research, Planning and Nurseries department enables the cost effective and sustainable supply of suitable forest resources to the business.

Sappi ReFibre is Sappi Southern Africa’s secondary fibre division and is responsible for the recycling of used paper and paper products.

New developments in wood processing supports the move to a biobased economy that utilises materials that are renewable and biodegradable and that do not compete with food sources.