Wood-fibre products multinational Sappi has joined bioeconomy global movement the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA).
“Sappi’s purpose and vision aligns very closely with the CBA. We fully support the work of the CBA in facilitating a science-informed dialogue and in demonstrating on the ground through targeted investments the potential of a circular bioeconomy in the global South,” Sappi group sustainability and research and development GM Dr Tracy Wessels says.
The CBA was established by the UK's Prince Charles under the Sustainable Markets Initiative in 2020.
The CBA aims to accelerate the transition to a circular bioeconomy that is climate neutral, inclusive and prospers in harmony with nature by providing knowledge-informed support and a learning and networking platform.
It connects investors, companies, local communities, governmental and nongovernmental organisations to advance the circular bioeconomy, while also restoring biodiversity. Current activities include forest landscape restoration and agroforestry projects in Africa, South America and Asia.
“Sappi aims to build a thriving world by unlocking the power of renewable resources to benefit people, communities and the planet. Throughout our operations in Europe, North America and South Africa, we are working to embrace and advance the circular biobased economy through our commitment to product innovation, sustainable forestry and socioeconomic development,” says Wessels.
“Through our participation in the CBA, we look forward to supporting its mandate and activities, especially in contributing to the development of a Living Labs initiative in South Africa. For nearly 40 years, Sappi has been working to promote forestry as a means of creating sustainable livelihoods in rural areas across South Africa.”
During this period, the company's Khulisa programme has continuously evolved and grown beyond its initial focus as a tree-farming scheme aimed at subsistence farmers. It has become a proven model for creating shared value by uplifting rural communities through equipping them to become sustainable participants in the forestry value chain.
“We will work to further expand and continue evolving this programme together within the context of the CBA, in addition to exploring other opportunities to collaborate, share experience and grow the circular bioeconomy in Africa and beyond.”
The unprecedented scale of environmental and social challenges facing humanity calls for commitment, action and partnership at an unprecedented scale. The new economic paradigm of a circular bioeconomy offers much potential to recalibrate humanity's interaction with nature. Renewable resources can establish a new balance in which climate change, biodiversity loss and overconsumption can be addressed while stimulating equitable economic development and well-being, she notes.