APP, one of the world’s largest paper and packaging producers, announced an end to the clearing of natural forest across its entire supply chain in Indonesia, with immediate effect.
Greenpeace said that after a decade of public pressure and recent negotiations with the campaign group it welcomed the news. It said that it “could spell the end of its long and controversial history of rainforest destruction”.
APP said that from 1 February all of APP’s suppliers have suspended natural forest clearance whilst independent assessments take place to identify areas of high conservation value that will be protected through a long-term management programme.
The paper producer said that High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments undertaken by The Forest Trust (TFT) will identify all forested areas, enabling APP to ensure that future plantation development does not take place in forests.
APP announced the new Forest Conservation policy yesterday (5 February ) during the latest quarterly update of its ‘Vision 2020’ Sustainability Roadmap, which was published in June 2012.
Teguh Ganda Wijaya, chairman of the APP Group, said: “This is a major commitment and investment from APP Group. We are doing this for the sustainability of our business and for the benefit of society. We hope our stakeholders will support our new Policy, help us along the way and urge other industry players to follow.
“APP is a world leader in the pulp and paper business, and we will act as leaders are expected to do.”
Aida Greenbury, APP managing director for sustainability, added: “APP has today committed to protect all natural forests across its supply chain as part of its plans to support the Government of Indonesia’s low carbon development strategy for our economy.”
“We commend APP for making this commitment to end deforestation, but it’s what happens in the forest that counts and we will be monitoring progress closely. If APP fully implements its new policies it will mark a dramatic change in direction, after years of deforestation in Indonesia,” said Bustar Maitar, head of Greenpeace’s Forest Campaign in Indonesia.
According to Greenpeace, Indonesia’s rainforests are a vital habitat for endangered species including the Sumatran tiger and home to thousands of forest communities. Greenpeace said that the Indonesian government has identified the pulp and paper sector as a lead driver of deforestation in Indonesia, along with the palm oil sector.
In a statement, Greenpeace said: “This move by APP is the result of years of pressure from Indonesian and international NGOs challenging its role in large-scale rainforest clearance, including vital wildlife habitat and areas claimed by local communities. Greenpeace’s campaign to transform Indonesia’s pulp and paper sector has seen ground-breaking investigations of APP’s operations and high profile campaigns around the world exposing the global brands whose paper and packaging is supplied from APP.
“Many global brands suspended contracts with APP and introduced policies removing deforestation from their supply chains after a wave of public pressure inspired by Greenpeace. Over 100 companies have taken action, including Adidas, Kraft, Mattel, Hasbro, Nestlé, Carrefour, Staples and Unilever.”