SPC Member Spotlight: Sappi Fine Paper’s The Gambo Project

“Member Spotlight” is the newest addition to our GreenBlue blog where we will regularly highlight the sustainability achievements and initiatives of a Sustainable Packaging Coalition member company.

Sappi Fine Paper is a leading member in the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s Forest Product Working Group. As a North American producer of coated fine and release papers, as well as dissolving wood pulp and market kraft pulp, Sappi sells its various paper products to customers all over the world, while simultaneously maintaining a steady environmentally-friendly reputation within the forest products industry.

Sappi has made many recent sustainability advancements and capital investments at its Somerset Mill, where they manufacture coated free sheet graphic paper, grease-proof packaging paper and bleached kraft pulp; recent initiatives include improvements to the mill’s lime kiln and working closely with Summit Natural Gas to bring a natural gas pipeline to Skowhegan, Maine, that will service the mill and 17 local communities. However, the public will most easily relate to their work surrounding the Gambo hydroelectric facility; a project that has been underway since 2009 in Westbrook, Maine.


Brad Goulet, Sappi Hydro Manager/Utilities Engineer, and Richard Curtis of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust (PRLT) worked together to create appropriate public access to the Presumpscot River. While Sappi was required by their license for the Gambo hydroelectric facility to create access, the opportunity to work in conjunction with the Land Trust enabled Sappi to enhance existing trails at the Historic Oriental Powder Mill Complex and Cumberland Oxford Canal.

The Gambo Project resulted in a beautiful nature trail connecting to the PRLT trails, convenient fishing access, and a location for kayakers and canoers to portage between the upstream Gambo Pond and the downstream river reach. Along the Presumpscot River, Sappi now has many public access initiatives underway that will allow the local Maine community to better enjoy their surrounding environment.

Presumpscot River

“Working with the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust to accomplish these results, was a true collaborative effort,” said Brad Goulet. “Fostering a relationship between Sappi and such an important land conservation organization ensured that the land will be used for appropriate recreational purposes for years to come.”

Check out Sappi’s Presumpscot River blog before visiting the area, as Sappi regularly provides educational updates on the area including lake levels, river flows, and consequential water safety rules. Learn more about Sappi’s broad range of environmental efforts by reading their 2013 Sustainability Report or by downloading their infographic on Water Use in the Paper Industry.

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