At Sappi we are committed to sustainable or “smart” consumption; eliminating wasteful use. Only by using products wisely can we be assured of meeting demand while protecting natural resources for future generations.
We fully embrace a waste management hierarchy that focuses on source reduction first, followed by re-use and then recycling, all actions that prevent waste. In some cases for products that are difficult to recycle, incineration with energy recovery is the next best option. Ultimately, the primary goal is to keep paper products and by-products out of landfills where they can decompose and form methane, a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 25 times higher than carbon dioxide (CO2). Watch this short video to learn how a by-product of our papermaking process keeps cows and local farmers happy.
Efficient use can be a focus up and down the supply chain. Designers have significant influence on the overall environmental impact across a product’s life cycle by considering efficiency in use and ultimately how easily a product can be re-used, recycled or disposed. Direct marketers and catalogers have adopted practices such as maintaining good mailing list hygiene and using more targeted versions of catalogs with fewer pages rather than mass-mailing a single, larger version.
In Sappi’s Release Papers business, our products are primarily used to impart texture on other decorative surfaces such as synthetic fabrics and laminates. Our paper is part of the production process, not the final product, and is designed for multiple re-use. Our Technology Center scientists constantly look for ways to improve release paper products to maximize re-use, with many of our release grades providing customers dozens of re-use cycles.
Our dissolving pulp business makes wood pulp that is converted into viscose staple fibers, which are spun into threads to make textiles. While fabrics are highly reusable, many consumers don't realize they are also recyclable. We encourage stakeholders to seek out used clothing donation centers. Most facilities will put reusable clothing back in circulation while sending the rest to textile recycling facilities, where materials are sorted and processed to recapture the basic fibers for use as raw materials for making new products.
Within our own operations, we strive to minimize the waste of our raw materials. One of our five-year goals is specifically focused on the reduction of both fiber and coating material losses in our pulp mills and papermaking areas. Any form of internally generated waste paper is either returned to the paper machines as a furnish component we call “broke” or is recovered as recycled fiber, depending on where the waste paper is generated.
We also utilize alternative fuels such as construction and demolition wood, tire-derived fuel and reclaimed waste oil. Use of these resources results in cost savings for the mills, and by converting these waste streams to energy, less waste goes to landfill.