Tissue World Magazine

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has suspended the process to design a roadmap for ending disassociation with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).

The environmental certification scheme has been disassociated from APP since October 2007.

While APP’s status remains unchanged, for several years FSC pursued a roadmap for re-association, a pathway for action APP could take to get FSC-certification.

However, a spokesman for FSC confirmed that this process was suspended in August 2018.

In a statement, FSC said: “FSC has taken this decision in order to reassess the roadmap process while it awaits further information from APP related to its corporate structure and alleged unacceptable forest management activities by companies thought to be related to APP.

“Dialogue with APP will continue in view of ensuring full disclosure about these issues.

“APP remains disassociated from FSC until such time as it has fulfilled the requirements set by FSC.”

In response, a spokesman for APP told TWM: “It is our understand that FSC is undertaking an assessment of its entire re-association process and the announcement to suspend APP’s re-association is part of that process as there is currently no baseline for ending disassociation, and one of the reasons why APP welcomed the announcement from FSC on developing a set of guidelines and a framework that will be adaptable to all businesses.

“The new roadmap process will formalise guidelines and frameworks to better address the complicated process of re-association.

“We look forward to examining the new roadmap process more closely in the coming months, and trust that it will be robust, transparent and fair.”

He added that APP “remains committed to zero-deforestation across our entire supply chain and as mentioned by FSC, will continue discussions with FSC to ensure full disclosure about our suppliers and forest management activities, even as the new roadmap is developed, will be providing FSC with all the information they have requested for despite the suspension of the current roadmap”.