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Centre for Environmental Rights

SappiPaper Manufacturing

Production and marketing of papers for printing, stationary, and textile sectors.


Sappi explicitly mentions climate change as a material business risk and provides detailed disclosures of the risks and impacts to its business in its mainstream reports. These positive findings are supported by good disclosures of the strategy in place to ensure resilience through efforts such as mitigation, adaptation, resource efficiency, pollution reduction and transition plans.

However, Sappi does not use scenario analysis to inform its strategy and is one of two companies assess that does not have a company-wide risk management programme in place to manage climate related risks. The board does not have direct oversight of the climate-related issues, and there are no remuneration policies in place to ensure that non-board executives properly implement the risk mitigation strategy. The company does not have any emissions reductions targets in place, casting further doubt on the effectiveness of its strategy.

Emissions Score Card

2.78 MtCO2e
Total Scope 1 and 2 Emissions (South Africa, 2018)
Contribution to South Africa’s total emissions (estimated)
Ranking out of 10 emitters assessed (1 = highest)
5.54 MtCO2e
Total Scope 1 and 2 Emissions (Worldwide)



Is the company a supporter of the TCFD?
Who has oversight of climate-related risks and opportunities?
Non-board executive(s)

Climate-related issues are managed by management-level appointees or committees.

The Group Head Technology reports directly to the CEO. This individual is responsible for overseeing: climate change research, GHG research, expansion projects where climate risks are considered. – SR 2018, p 98

The Social, Ethics, Transformation and Sustainability Committee oversees sustainability issues, but climate change is not specifically mentioned. – AR 2018, p 99

Does the remuneration policy include performance metrics used to measure and manage climate-related risks?

Remuneration policy does not include climate-related performance metrics.


Does the company identify climate change as a material business risk?

Climate risks are explicitly mentioned as a material or principal risk in the annual or integrated report.

Climate change is a material issue. – IR 2019, p 7, 55

Has the company outlined the risks and opportunities from climate change?
Mainstream reports

Detailed disclosure, including timeframes and impacts, with timeframes in mainstream annual reporting.

Climate risks for different regions are outlined with timeframes and impacts – AR 2018, p 56; SR 2018, p 98

Does the company describe how its strategy might change to address climate change risks and opportunities?

Disclosure of how climate risks and opportunities are incorporated into strategy through efforts such as mitigation, adaptation, resource efficiency, pollution reduction  and transition plans.

Responses include replacing pure species with hybrids, changes to breeding strategies; rapid detection techniques and soil monitoring – AR 2018, p 56

Does the company describe the climate change scenarios used to inform strategy and financial planning?

No disclosure of scenarios in mainstream reports.

Risk Management

Does the company have a process to manage climate-related risks?

No evidence that climate-related risks form part of company-wide risk management programme or specific climate-related risk management process.

Metrics and Targets

Has the company set GHG emission reduction targets?

There is no GHG emission reduction target currently in place.

Is there a long-term GHG emission reduction target?

There is not an absolute or intensity reduction target over five years in duration.

Does the company disclose its GHG emissions?
Scope 1 and 2

Companies report on their Scope 1 and 2 emissions for the current year and at least the previous year.

AR 2018, p 121; SR 2018, p 104

Does the company provide their internal carbon price?

No internal carbon price is disclosed.

Additional Information

Does the company disclose the extent of liability under the carbon tax?

No liability is disclosed.

Sappi’s CDP 2017 disclosure suggests that the estimated financial impact of a carbon tax will be US$6.4m. No further disclosure is provided in CDP 2018.

Does the company disclose its participation in the DEA's voluntary carbon budget programme?

Participation is disclosed in mainstream reports.

“In South Africa, the Department of Environmental Affairs has accepted our proposed carbon budget which is valid until 2020.” – SR 2018, p 104

Disclosures Considered

  • Annual Integrated Report 2018
  • Group Sustainability Report 2018
  • Group Climate Change Policy
  • Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) 2018 Climate Change submission

This report is accurate as at 01 August 2019.

Company Profile


South Africa, Europe, North America

Key Shareholders

  • Public Investment Corporation (16.6%)
  • Allan Gray (Pty) Ltd (8.82%)
  • Prudential Investment Managers (SA) (Pty) Ltd (4.21%)
  • Alexander Forbes Investments Ltd. (3.58%)
  • The Vanguard Group Inc. (3.58%)