• Chinese viscose producer Sateri is one of the first leading global viscose fibre producers to complete the CanopyStyle audit.
  • The results found the company has terminated business with two suppliers for sourcing wood pulp from potentially endangered or ancient forests.
Sateri launched a Sustainability Policy in early 2016

Sateri launched a Sustainability Policy in early 2016

Chinese viscose producer Sateri has terminated business with two suppliers for sourcing wood pulp from potentially endangered or ancient forests.

Detailed in an audit report published by environmental not-for-profits Canopy and the Rainforest Alliance – with Sateri's input – the results show two of the Shanghai-based company's suppliers have been removed from its supply chain.

Sateri is one of the first few leading global viscose fibre producers to complete the CanopyStyle audit, which rates the company's performance on forest-derived sourcing – and helps fashion brands know whether the fabrics they purchase are free of fibre from ancient and endangered forests. It uses a risk-based approach and requires verifiable evidence to evaluate viscose producers' progress on its 'CanopyStyle' commitment.

The audit report documented purchases from 13 suppliers of dissolving wood pulp – used to make viscose – out of a list of 17, which are listed on Sateri's website. The auditors confirmed the termination of fibre use from two controversial sources: one of its main suppliers TPL, and Jari Cellulose.

In particular, the raw material received from TPL was a mix of PEFC-certified and non-certified dissolving pulp and was considered at high risk of originating from ancient and endangered forests and other controversial sources. The sourcing geography of the certified dissolving pulp of Jari Cellulose is in the Brazilian Amazon region, where concerns of illegal logging activities are prevalent.

"We are encouraged that Sateri promptly terminated two controversial sources and is working to bring further transparency on the forest of origin of their other suppliers," says Nicole Rycroft, Canopy's executive director. "Deforestation and forest degradation are key in driving climate change, species decline and undermining of frontline community rights. We look forward to engaging with Sateri to improve their sustainability performance and sourcing impacts, especially in landscapes such as Indonesian and Malaysian tropical forests."

Sateri is one of the largest viscose staple fibre producers in the world and is solely engaged in the manufacture of viscose staple fibre in China. Its suppliers are global and it has three operations, which are all PEFC CoC certified and hold Oeko-tex certification.

The company launched a Sustainable Pulp Sourcing Policy in June 2015 and a Sustainability Policy in early 2016, which forms part of its commitment to fully implement the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group's Forestry, Fibre, Pulp & Paper Sustainability Framework.

The audit report found the need for further analysis to determine the risk level of the fibre from Brazil, and confirmation of the presence of pulp with raw material from Indonesia and Malaysia: regions known for highly controversial industrial logging operations and major impacts on climate and endangered species habitat. It also decided that the risk level of the remaining volume of pulp cannot, at present, be determined as low risk of coming from ancient and endangered forests and/or controversial sources, due to a current lack of information about the forest of origin of the material from the dissolving pulp suppliers.

Through its commitment to the CanopyStyle initiative, Sateri is required to collect forest of origin information including GPS points, GIS coordinates and/or shapefiles from its dissolving pulp suppliers, which allow for an overlay with the Canopy map of ancient and endangered forests.

Based on this information, the report recommends Sateri share the forest origin information with Rainforest Alliance and Canopy for further desktop risk assessments to complete the requirements of the verification framework and allow for "robust analysis and supply chain risk level conclusions".

Sateri did submit maps of supply areas for two mills – its two largest suppliers BSC and APRIL – but similar information is yet to be collected for the remaining suppliers.

"Once this follow up desktop risk assessment is complete, Sateri can inform its suppliers of this process and the results, and the audit evaluation can be finalised and the results posted publicly," the report suggests.

"In the case that information on the forest of origin cannot confirm a low-risk rating or in the case that forest of origin information is not being shared by the dissolving pulp supplier, Sateri will need to take further actions."

Click here to see who has committed to the CanopyStyle initiative to date.