Tree species used: Of the 234,000ha planted at the end of FY2016, 56% was hardwood and 44% softwood, and of contracted supply, 91% is hardwood.
All wood grown on Sappi-owned land and a large proportion grown on plantations managed by us, is Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®)-certified. Approximately 140,000 hectares of our land is set aside and maintained by Sappi Forests to conserve the natural habitat and biodiversity found there, including indigenous forests and wetlands.
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 wood pulp (DWP). 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.