Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) will immediately stop clearing natural forest on its pulpwood concessions in Indonesia as part of a new sustainability strategy. However the move hasn’t appeased Greenpeace, who says the commitment indicates only a minority of APP’s supply chain is to be included in the strategy.
The new forest conservation policies, which will align the sustainability initiatives of APP, Solaris Paper and Paper Force, will see the “natural evolution” of APP’s sustainability strategy, moving to adopt the internationally-recognised standards for High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF).
Commenting on the announcement, Aida Greenbury APP’s managing director of sustainability says, “Effective immediately, we are embarking on a bold programme to ensure we can offer our customers products with the highest environmental and social integrity, and to ensure delivery of a shared vision for the global community.
“We are taking account of critical issues raised in our dialogue with NGOs. It is the aim of APP’s policy to exclude HCVF from the supply chain.”
Regarding APP’s future expansion, Greenbury says, “As a business we are always assessing the markets for opportunities. We will ensure that our Natural Forest Policy will apply to all of our current mill operations and any future expansion.”
With respect to APP owned concessions in Indonesia key elements of the strategy include:
- Effective from 1st June 2012, APP will suspend natural forest clearance while HCVF assessments are conducted.
- APP has engaged credible experts to conduct HCVF assessments, in accordance with HCV Resource Network best practice. The assessments will be based on a multi-stakeholder approach.
- APP will protect all identified HCVF areas as a result of the HCVF assessments.
With respect to APP’s independent pulpwood suppliers in Indonesia key elements include:
- Given its firm commitments on HCVF, APP expects independent suppliers to comply with its request for HCVF assessments, by 31 December 2014.
- With an international NGO partner, APP will engage with its independent suppliers to adopt HCVF assessments.
- APP will review and reevaluate supply agreements where HCVF assessments are not conducted.
Despite the announcement, Greenpeace remains unimpressed releasing a statement saying the small print of this latest APP commitment indicates that only a minority of its supply chain is to be included in today’s announcement.
The statement continues, “If APP were serious about its commitment to clean their supply chain of natural forest and peatland destruction, it would be easy to require compliance from all its suppliers immediately.
“This announcement is a wasted opportunity. If APP were serious about reform it would address the issues of clearance of natural forests and peatland, as its sister company Golden Agri Resources, has done. By sidestepping these issues APP has just ensured it will continue to lose customers and tarnish the reputation of Indonesia’s forest sector around the world.”