Ethical Performance
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Pulp and paper group sets sustainability goals

April 2011

The controversial Indonesia-based paper business, APP, has pledged to certify all its pulpwood as sustainable by 2020 and has stated the milestones it aims to achieve along the way.

The company, which has long been accused of playing a role in large-scale deforestation in Indonesia, will seek certification under the government’s sustainable forest management system, the Indonesian Ecolabelling Institute (LEI).

Its further targets include the sourcing of pulpwood from sustainable plantations by the end of 2015 and interim certification goals in 2015.

All APP’s pulpwood supply is verified as legal under Indonesian law, and the company claims it will now go beyond compliance. Some critics, however, question how significant the certification is.

The Sumatran conservation charity KKI Warsi said: ‘The certification is not credible and transparent, since inputs by NGOs and affected communities were ignored.’

Jikalahari, another forest protection NGO network, said: ‘LEI should not certify any of APP’s wood suppliers as they continue to clear and destroy natural forest and peat soil in Indonesia and cause social problems by operations outside the certified areas. APP concessions together lost over 450,000 hectares of natural forest since 2000.’

The Forest Stewardship Council, an internationally recognized certification system, severed ties with APP in 2007 after concerns that the company was sullying its reputation.

However, Aida Greenbury, the APP managing director, said: ‘We believe these goals are essential to APP’s commitment to support sustainable forest management programmes in Indonesia, China and around the world. They provide a foundation that will assure stakeholders that APP is operating in full legal compliance and continuing to strive to be a global leader in responsible paper production.

‘The path to achieving those goals demands rigorous independent auditing of all APP operations as well as our pulpwood suppliers.’

The company says it ‘will continue its support of and auditing toward meeting numerous other forest certification standards’, though it does not specify when.

In a separate move, APP Asia has become the first Indonesian pulp and paper company to commit to the United Nations Global Compact CEO Water Mandate.  

APP joined the president of the Indonesia Global Compact Network (IGCN) and five other companies as the first Indonesian companies pledging a commitment to supporting UN sustainable water management principles and practices. APP has commissioned sustainability consultancy Nalco to carry out a two-year research and development programme to map out the company’s water footprint across its Indonesia and China operations.

The UN’s CEO Water Mandate was created in 2007 to recognise and emphasise public-private partnership to help address critical water challenges in the face of a growing global water crisis. Seven pulp and paper mills within APP Group have signed the UN CEO Water Mandate, including Indah Kiat, Pindo Deli, and Ekamas Fortuna.

Asia Pulp & Paper | Asia | Sustainability

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