The past year has been unprecedented. The impact of COVID-19 cast a long shadow over the world. Our business was negatively affected, which influenced our ability to deliver our sustainability goals. However, I am extremely proud of the manner in which the Sappi family stood up and stood together during this time. Across our global operations, our first priority was the immediate safety and wellbeing of our staff and their families.
Sappi North America received a $100,000 training grant in September from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and Department of Labor and Industry. The grant allows Sappi to strengthen the local workforce by providing advanced technical training to employees, while improving functions and safety at its Cloquet Mill. SNA has participated in the grant program six times and continues to offer the opportunity for up to 25 employees each year to join a training cohort. Through the years, this grant has provided on-site training to more than 100 employees.
“We are all in it together,” says Jay Arnston, fiberline control room operator and president of the USW Local Chapter 11-63 at the Cloquet Mill. “It wasn’t always that way,” he says, describing his many years of union involvement with Sappi and previous owners of the mill. “But we’ve come a long way. There is a lot more transparency, and we are informed about a lot of the decision making.”
On August 1, 2019, Sappi Limited was very excited to announce the completion of the $175 million transaction to acquire Matane Mill from Rayonier Advanced Materials. Joining Sappi are approximately 150 talented employees who operate this high-yield hardwood pulp mill that is located on Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula at the mouth of the Matane River.
Team discusses innovations and strategy following Jennifer Miller' retirement
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A dialogue with Sappi North America’s sustainability and innovation leaders
Jennifer Miller is SNA’s Chief Business Sustainability Officer, responsible for integrating the company’s sustainability strategy into its business growth plans. An experienced business professional in managing profit and loss as well as market strategy, Jennifer recognizes the important roles that customer insight, employee engagement, and strong governance play in ensuring an effective sustainability strategy.
Safety is the top priority at Sappi. Across all regions, we are committed to zero workplace injuries. The metric we use to measure our progress toward meeting our goal is known as lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR), which measures injuries resulting in lost time per 200,000 employee hours of exposure—equivalent to 100 full-time employees per year.
Company introduces 2025 goals that align with SDGs
As we enter into the last year of our five-year performance cycle, we’re already thinking about what 2025 might look like.
Our sustainability journey began in earnest back in 2008 when we became a signatory to the UN Global Compact. The Compact had us focusing on four broad topics as a means to improve society: human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. To deliver in these areas, we set goals and targets that were most applicable to the difference we could make with our business. Since that time, we’ve accomplished a great deal.
This past year saw significant progress at Sappi North America (SNA). For the second year running, we produced an excellent safety performance — again lowering the injury frequency and severity ratings to record-low levels. I would like to thank each and every staff member for their personal commitment to this journey.