Sappi Southern Africa is delighted to have been awarded one of the most coveted honours in the creative and advertising industry. It has won a Silver Loerie in the 2021 Loerie Awards in the ‘Shared Value’ category for its Sappi Forests’ Enterprise Supplier Development programme, known as Sappi Khulisa.
The Shared Value award aims to recognise marketing initiatives that support creativity and innovation, but at the same time seeks to honour companies and brands that are purpose-led and who ensure that their actions demonstrate the ability to connect to the growing number of environmentally and socially conscious consumers.
The Sappi Khulisa programme has grown from being a purely CSI programme when it first started in 1983 with only three participants to a Shared Value programme of almost 4,000 participants earning more than R2,5billion since 1995. The initiative has successfully uplifted many impoverished individuals and communities in Southern Africa, with many growers benefiting financially over the years, creating shared value by enhancing the security of fibre supply to Sappi and by uplifting rural communities through equipping them to become sustainable participants in the forestry value chain.
“The Sappi Khulisa programme is an embodiment of our business strategy, which drives sustainability solutions through proactively partnering with customers and communities, thanks to our understanding that we cannot build a thriving world in isolation. Khulisa is an excellent example of a successful enterprise development programme that truly creates shared value for Sappi and the programme participants. Receiving an accolade like a Loerie, is testament to the sterling work that has been done by the Sappi Forests Khulisa team in achieving this success”, commented Alex Thiel, CEO of Sappi Southern Africa.
The programme has undergone a rebranding and rejuvenation facelift since 2017, when the name was changed from Project Grow to Khulisa (meaning ‘grow’ in isiZulu) and when a logo and a brand identity was established for the programme; at the same time as engagement and training material was designed and introduced to encourage new participants to the programme.
The Sappi Khulisa programme was also acknowledged in the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards honours in 2018, winning the Women’s Empowerment and Rural Economies categories. The programme also received top international recognition for their innovative video by receiving the ‘Best of the Best’ Award in the Audio/Visual Category of the 2020 International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Gold Quill Awards. Recently, the programme was also selected as a finalist in the Profit with Purpose category of the first World Sustainability Awards.