In a world changed forever by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am proud of how the Sappi family came together last year to forge ahead, prosper, and even flourish.
More than a year ago, we set our ambitious Thrive25 sustainability targets to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), making them relevant to us locally and globally. Completing our initial year working toward these 2025 targets, I am excited that we met or exceeded most of our goals.
Let me make this real for a moment: our improvement in energy efficiency from the 2019 baseline is enough to electrify over 80,000 homes for a year. Our reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, off this same baseline, is equivalent to annually removing over 24,000 cars from our highways. This does not happen without a strong plan to meet these goals, and more importantly, it can only happen with dedicated employees to execute that plan. We accomplished our goals against the difficulties of the COVID pandemic and continual challenges to employee wellness—a real testament to Sappi’s adaptability and perseverance.
Over the past year, we purposely accelerated our efforts to weave together a strong network of teams focused on our sustainability ambitions. It has been rewarding to see the level of cross-functional collaboration in pursuit of our mission to benefit people, take care of the planet, and achieve prosperity.
This company-wide effort included contributions from talented sustainability ambassadors at our sites, functional teams within Sappi, and our relationships with suppliers and other value chain partners.
It is clear that sustainability is a central part of Sappi’s integrated business strategy, which strives to expand our role in building a more circular economy.
For any company to advance, a solid foundation is needed. Looking forward, I am confident in the cross-functional foundation we have built to drive our next level of sustainability work. Despite our achievements, we have much work to do. We must commit to further decarbonization through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and continue our efforts to meet our full complement of 2025 sustainability goals, including diversity in the workforce, and employee and community engagement. In the coming year, we will continue to concentrate on the framework for climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD) to ensure proper climate risk management.
As always, this work will be done in the context of focusing on critical customer needs. I look forward to using our strong position on sustainability to collaborate, introduce new products, and drive improvements across the value chain.
Our company purpose remains our guiding force: to build a thriving world by unlocking the power of renewable resources to benefit people, communities, and the planet. We are living this purpose more and more each day.