27 February 2005
Brussels (Belgium) - Sappi's Maastricht Mill in the Netherlands has won one of the highest safety accolades in the annual Sappi Global Safety Awards competition.
Brussels (Belgium) - Sappi's Maastricht Mill in the Netherlands has won one of the highest safety accolades in the annual Sappi Global Safety Awards competition. The mill was announced as the winner of the Sappi Global Safety Award for Best Improvement. The award was handed over by Sappi Limited Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jonathan Leslie, during a ceremony at the mill.

The Sappi Usutu Mill, in Swaziland, will be confirmed as the 2004 winner of the overall Global Safety Award for Best Achievement during a ceremony at the mill on 1 March 2005.

Sappi Maastricht Mill improved its safety record by 85% in 2004 compared to business year 2003. The mill was also presented with the awards for Best European Safety Achievement as well as Most Improved European Mill for 2004. It has also recently passed the milestone of being lost time injury free for 1 million hours.

Mill Director Edward de Vries accepted the award from Sappi Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Leslie at the ceremony attended by guests from the region, the Board of Sappi Fine Paper Europe and employees from the mill. The European awards were presented by Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Pfarl.

The Sappi Global Safety Awards were created in 1999 and represent the company's goal of having no person injured whilst at work. To achieve this, a commitment towards creating an environment where the safety of employees is a top priority was adopted. The awards recognise both the mills with the overall lowest rate of injury incidents per year as well as the mills with the most improved performance in reducing injuries.

Sappi Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Leslie, commented, "Every single person at Maastricht Mill is equally responsible for achieving this award, because it only takes one person s unsafe behaviour to undo the hard work of others. The internal awards system is an affirmation of the importance we attach to safety. We are introducing new initiatives to ensure that we reach our target of zero injuries while at work. We need to embed a culture of safety awareness and that is why we celebrate the mill s achievement today."

Remarking on the success Maastricht Mill in reducing injury, Wolfgang Pfarl indicated, "At Sappi safety is a respected value. We want our people to be safe and healthy all the time. This mill shows that with commitment it is possible to achieve our goal of zero injuries."

Note to the editors:
LTIFR (Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate): The safety awards are based on an average annual Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate. This is the number of lost time multiplied by 200 000, divided by the number of actual man-hours worked. (200 000 reflects 100 employee man-hours over a twelve month period).

For further information please contact:

Craig Halgreen
Communication Manager
Sappi Fine Paper Europe
T: +32 (0)2 676 9785
F: +32 (0)2 676 9669

Sappi is a leading producer of coated fine paper (which is used in high quality publications such as annual reports, catalogues, brochures and magazines) and has a 15% share of the world market. It is the largest producer in North America, Europe and Africa combined, producing nearly a quarter of all the coated fine paper in the western world.

In Europe, Sappi has eight mills located at Ehingen and Alfeld in Germany, Gratkorn in Austria, Nijmegen and Maastricht in the Netherlands, Lanaken in Belgium and Blackburn and Nash in the United Kingdom. Sappi Fine Paper Europe produces approximately 2.5 million tons of coated fine paper per annum of which 320,000 tons is produced at the Maastricht mill.

The company is the leading producer of chemical cellulose in the world (used typically in the manufacture of viscose textiles) with a market share of 15%.