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Environmental non-compliances reported by affected communities, the media, & NGOs


There have been a number of reports of Sappi’s environmental impacts in the media. These include reports of poisoning due to the release of toxic gases1 and pollution of water resulting in bans on fishing, swimming and drinking the water.2 Recently, allegations were made that Sappi had dumped tons of potentially toxic ash in locations which resulted in the ash being washed into rivers.3  This was denied by Sappi.

Sappi was also implicated in a massive effluent spill into the Mvoti River in November 2014 which “according to Sappi staff on the scene” could have come from the Stanger Mill.4 The spill turned the water “soapy, black and stinking”. Sappi however issued a statement denying any ‘toxic “spill of effluent”’ into that River.5

Sappi’s CEO, Alex Thiel, in his response to Full disclosure, commented extensively on these media reports. His full response can be viewed in the “Sappi Limited’s response to Full Disclosure” section.

Parliamentary committee meetings

Sappi was mentioned in public hearings on the National Climate Change Response Policy Green Paper 2010. A private individual criticised the paper and suggested specific rules for companies such as Sappi which pollute as part of their operations. This individual also commented that Sappi’s use of water should be monitored as pollution from operations often affected people downstream.6