Press releases

Being a sustainable business when your business is sustainability

Mpact (JSE: MPT), a leading player in the paper and plastic packaging industry, has a rare perspective on matters of sustainability. While it adheres to sustainability principles in matters of corporate governance, Mpact also has environmental sustainability at the heart of its paper recycling business.

Mpact Recycling, a division of Mpact Limited, currently has a 45% share of the South African paper recycling market and each year collects upwards of 457 000 tons of recovered paper. Recycled paper is an important component in the manufacture of its paper-based packaging products. Mpact uses 70% of the recycled paper it collects in its corrugated and paper manufacturing divisions.

Says Mpact chief executive Bruce Strong: “One of the fundamental tenets of our business is that of being a responsible corporate citizen, manifesting in the creation of long-term value for stakeholders. We’re committed to sustainability principles, which underpin our business strategy and operations.

“We believe that our leading market position can only be maintained with business practices that are based on long-term sustainable development,” says Strong, “The success of this approach is evidenced by our leading market positions in the manufacture of paper, paper-based packaging and recovered paper collection in South Africa.”

This up-close perspective of sustainability beyond the corporate governance rule book gives Mpact a close appreciation of how sustainability in the business context is indeed closely connected to how it might be seen in the “real world”.

In the business management sense, Mpact’s view of sustainability is that it is the result of integration of corporate governance with sound management of the commercial, economic, social and environmental dimensions of the business. Factors beyond traditional commercial viability are considered and managed.

This perspective is reflected in Mpact’s business strategy that supports the company’s sustainability in tough economic times.

Mpact’s sustainability approach guides for employees, partners and suppliers on how business is conducted. Preferential procurement also ensures the development of entrepreneurs and the empowerment of black-owned businesses. This approach ensures the pool of economic active South Africans is expanded an investment that will in the long term safeguard stability of the country.

As part of Mpact’s education drive to promote the sustainable use of resources, recycling is more than a business activity, it is an integral part of plans to create environmentally safe communities.

International studies show that recycling has huge environmental and financial benefits. Mpact plays its part locally to educate the public about the benefits of recycling.

Says Strong: “Of course one can’t ignore the environmental benefits of recycling. The input of recovered paper has a positive impact in terms of climate change because it replaces virgin material and reduces greenhouse gas emissions linked to the production of virgin fibre, and prevents the land-filling or incineration of recovered paper.”

However, Strong says it remains an unfortunate fact that recycling rates are distressingly low among South African households and businesses.

Mpact argues that, although recycling is not integral to the operations of many other industries, it does present a significant opportunity for companies to make recycling routine in the way business is done.

“What many are not aware of is the contribution that recycling makes towards job creation, poverty alleviation, enterprise development and economic growth,” says Strong.

Recycling activities currently provide jobs for around 100 000 people, 30 000 of which are estimated to be involved in the recycling of paper.

Waste traders, often seen dragging trolleys piled high with waste paper, plastic, tin and glass, are an important aggregator of waste for the recycling industry. This is a crucial part of Mpact’s value chain. These traders deliver paper to buy-back centres for payment and can earn several thousand rands a month.

Local entrepreneurs also help collect recycled paper for companies like Mpact Recycling.

“The industry’s case for job creation is not insignificant,” says Strong, “To date Mpact Recycling has empowered around 90 independent dealers throughout the country to collect paper.”

The recovery and recycling of paper and other materials in South Africa also ensures local beneficiation of raw materials.

“A key element of our strategy is to enhance performance through cost containment and improved efficiencies. In light of the current challenges facing waste paper collections, we are on a constant drive to find more cost competitive, innovative customer-focused methods to increase tonnages,” says Strong,

To organise office collection for used paper, businesses can contact Mpact Recycling. Depending on size of the company and other requirements Mpact Recycling will either collect used paper or direct the enquirer to the closest drop-off point. For large companies that are paper intensive, bins and bags will be provided and collected by Mpact.

To find out about collection initiatives in your business neighbourhood please call 0800 022 112 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Issued by FTI Consulting on behalf of Mpact:

Kgomotso Moalusi
+27 (0) 11 214 2413 / +27 (0)76 941 2902
Trevor Jones +27 (0) 11 214 2414 / +27 (0)83 326 7698

On behalf of Mpact Limited

Donna Noble | Communications Manager, Mpact Recycling
+27 (0) 11 538 8603 / +27 (0)82 879 6269
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to editors

Mpact is a leading manufacturer of paper and plastics packaging in Southern Africa. The Paper business is integrated across the recycled paper-based corrugated packaging value chain and comprises three divisions being Recycling, Paper Manufacturing and Corrugated. The Plastics business manufactures rigid plastic packaging for the food, beverage, personal care, home care, pharmaceutical, agricultural and retail markets. Products include PET preforms, bottles and jars; plastic jumbo bins, wheelie bins, and crates; plastic containers for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) market; styrene and PET trays, fast food containers and clear plastic films. The Group employs 3,760 people in 32 operations in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.