As a company that celebrates its 85th year in South Africa, Sappi embraces all things South African and celebrates Heritage Day annually to promote the unity and diversity in our country. The day, first proclaimed by former president Nelson Mandela to repeal the laws that limited cultural expression and association, provides an important opportunity for South Africans to celebrate their diverse cultures and customs; languages and religions.
Starting out as the South African Pulp and Paper Industries (SAPPI) with its first acquisition - a company that made paper from Straw at the Enstra Paper mill in Springs 1936 - today Sappi Limited has grown into a leading global provider of powerful everyday materials made from woodfibre-based renewable resources.
As diversified as its range of products, so too, the company prides itself on employing a diverse range of more than 5,000 employees in Southern Africa, bringing not only their particular brand of expertise and knowledge to making Sappi a successful company; but also bringing their particular culture, customs and special attributes to make us a diverse, but unified workforce, that is proudly South African.
Sappi strives to celebrate and welcome all people at Sappi - no matter their age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, race, sexual orientation or spiritual practice. Its transformation journey has been very successful, with the company achieving and exceeding its five-year targets during 2020, and already well on the way to achieving its 2025 targets. The company is proud to have almost doubled the number of female employees in senior management positions and is also showing a steady positive trend in employment equity in junior management and skilled positions.
Growing human potential is at the heart of sustainability at Sappi - beginning with our own people and extending to the communities where we operate. Within our own operations we celebrated Heritage Day at all our business units by inviting our employees to dress in their traditional outfits, or to wear something that represented what they celebrated about South Africa and its culture. The result was several cheerful and light-hearted gatherings (within Covid restrictions) where people could enjoy and share in acknowledging and appreciating each other’s cultures and traditions and a video which brought it all together in one message.
Sappi Forests also reached out to is neighbouring communities and continued with its porridge donations to creches and schools in the area, exemplifying yet another truly South African tradition of Ubuntu. The ECD practitioners, who received their Sappi-sponsored training at TREE (Training & Resources in Early Education) at the Masibambisane Crèche near Richmond in KwaZulu-Natal were delighted to receive the much needed porridge from Sappi whilst the young children were enjoying their Heritage Day celebrations.