South African pulp and paper company Sappi, whose products are used by the apparel industry, has announced its affiliation to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), adding the partnership will allow it to drive environmental and social responsibility throughout its supply chain.
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition brings together over 220 global brands, retailers, manufacturers and organisations from all parts of the apparel and textile industry, including Helly Hansen, Under Armour, adidas, C&A, Gap Inc and VF Corp. It has been working to harmonise standards relating to sustainability, the environment and social issues, with additions including the Higg Index sustainability measurement tool.
Sappi says it will contribute both data and resources to support the Higg Index, which measures sustainability performance and drives supply chain transparency and decision-making to improve efficiency and sustainability impact.
“Sappi’s sustainability strategy builds on our 2020Vision, people and core assets and aims to create real value by evolving our business as we expand our range of products derived from wood fibre, including packaging and speciality papers, wood fibre based bioproducts and importantly dissolving wood pulp (DWP) for the textiles industry,” said Sappi CEO Steve Binnie. “We are pleased to be joining the SAC, confident it will have a positive impact on product sustainability over time.”
Sappi dissolving wood pulp (DWP) executive vice president Mohamed Mansoor added: “We believe the SAC can become a model for how industries can collaborate in making a positive impact on value chain performance. Our confidence in the DWP market was confirmed when we launched Verve, our first brand range bolstering our leadership in this market. Sappi Verve represents our commitment to the entire value chain from brand owners through to the cellulosic fibre producers; our commitment to providing a natural fibre responsibly produced, sourced from sustainably managed forests.”
With its membership in the SAC, Sappi joins global brands, retailers, and manufacturers, as well as government, non-profit environmental organisations, and academic institutions, which are collectively committed to improving supply chain sustainability in the apparel, footwear, and textile industry.
“We welcome the addition of Sappi to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and look forward to their participation in this industry-wide effort in sustainability,” SAC interim executive director Amina Razvi said. “Having Sappi as part of the Coalition widens the scope of our impact within the industry and accelerates the change we’re making towards responsible industry actions.”