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Higg progress for Sappi

Verified score of 100% across energy, water and wastewater management.

17th January 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Northern Minnesota, USA


The Sappi Cloquet Mill in Northern Minnesota, USA, has become one of the first dissolving pulp facilities to complete an external environmental-management verification process.

The mill, which produces dissolving pulp sold under the Verve brand, achieved a final score of greater than 80% on the Higg Facility Environmental Management (FEM) verification audit as an endorsement of its sound environmental practices.

“As a global leader in dissolving pulp manufacturing, we are excited about the SAC Higg FEM results for our Verve product,” said Tom Radovich, managing director of Sappi North America’s Cloquet mill. “The Cloquet mill has always been a key part of our environmental stewardship and sustainability initiatives, and we will continue to look for ways to strengthen our position.” 

Cloquet also received a verified score of 100% across energy, water and wastewater management, highlighting the mill as a pocket of excellence in terms of resource efficiency and emissions control. 

Sappi has also now completed a self-assessment of the Higg Facility Social and Labour Module (FSLM) at its Ngodwana and Saiccor Mills in South Africa, with positive results.

The mills produce Verve dissolving pulp primarily for the textiles and absorbent hygiene product (AHP) industries.

Developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAP), the Higg FSLM is one of a suite of tools that enable manufacturing facilities within the textile value chains to measure themselves against a standard set of criteria in the areas of recruitment and hiring, working hours, wages and benefits, worker treatment, worker involvement, health and safety, termination and management systems.

“Verve is taking bold action to improve the transparency and traceability of the supply chain that we serve,” said Sappi Pulp executive vice president Mohamed Mansoor. “Using a common language through industry benchmarking like the Higg FSLM plays a key role in identifying priority focus areas and driving accountability.    I am encouraged by the self-assessment results which continue to highlight Verve as a fibre of choice and look forward to our operations participating in the verification audit next year.”

Sappi Limited is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with over 12,000 employees and manufacturing facilities on three continents – ten operations in Europe, four in North America and five in South Africa. It has customers in over 150 countries and its dissolving pulp products are used worldwide by converters to produce viscose fibre, pharmaceutical products and a wide range of household and consumer products.

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