Sappi announces first financing facility with sustainability linked performance indicators

As a global player in sustainable woodfibre products and solutions, sustainability and moving towards a circular economy underpin Sappi’s business strategy. Sappi’s efforts are recognised by its inclusion in the JSE SRI Index, the FTSE4Good index, by various ESG rating agencies including the ESG Prime Status from ISS-Oekom as well as third-party forestry and chain-of-custody certification by the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Ecovadis Platinum level rating for our North American, European and Southern African regional operations.

At the end of July Sappi announced that its science-based targets had been verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), building on the strong commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In an important further step, Sappi has moved to create a bridge between Sappi’s financing and sustainability strategies, confirming the importance of sustainability-linked financing solutions as integral to the company’s overall strategy.

Glen Pearce, Sappi Group CFO, commented: “This first sustainability-linked financing facility is an important strategic step for Sappi and supports our long-term vision to be a sustainable business with an ambitious sustainability strategy.”

He continued: “Sappi’s recently renewed international Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) is our first financing facility with sustainability-linked KPIs. The new facility of EUR 515million matures in February 2027 and comprises a consortium of eight relationship banks.  The RCF was structured with a margin adjustment mechanism, linked to progress in achieving the KPIs. The newly adopted Sustainable Financing Framework will be used to guide any sustainability-linked characteristics of future financing solutions.”

The Framework was verified by ISS ESG with a second party opinion that defines four material sustainability KPIs and provides a basis for future KPI-linked credit and capital market activities of the Group.  The KPIs focus on decreasing specific GHG (Scope 1 + 2) emissions by 18% in 2025; ensuring that certified fibre supplied to Sappi mills is in excess of 75% every year; reducing landfill solid waste disposal by 15%; and securing zero workplace injuries (lost time injury frequency rate) for own employees.