Pulp and paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) has committed to “an immediate halt” in the clearing of natural forest across its entire supply chain in Indonesia with immediate effect.
APP’s new Forest Conservation Policy announced on 5 February includes: suspension of natural forest clearance which applies to all suppliers; protection of all forests including those on peatland; High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments to be implemented; adoption of international best practice for rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as independent monitoring by NGOs.
APP-Americas’ sustainability director Ian Lifshitz told TW: “As with customers in all lines of APP’s business, our tissue customers can feel confident and secure that their products are sustainable, meet the highest standards, and do not come from natural forests.
“APP is committed to protecting all natural forests across our supply chain.
“This is a significant announcement for APP and sets our company on course to be a leading world-class paper company based on sustainable plantation sources.”
HCS assessments will be undertaken by The Forest Trust (TFT) and will identify all forested areas, which APP said will “enable it to ensure that future plantation development does not take place in forests”.
APP said the HCVF and HCS policies will be applied immediately to any further expansion or development of its business.
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 currently undertaking a process of social mapping across its supply chain in Indonesia, identifying areas where conflict resolution is a priority.
Bustar Maitar, head of Indonesia forest campaign at Greenpeace, told TW: “For a start, we are happy with this outcome. But this is a first step along a journey to make it real on the ground.
“Greenpeace will closely monitor how this policy will be implemented on the ground and we would like to see that the forest left is really protected, as well as the peatland and that progress is made to find the solution to social issues for the benefit of the local and indigenous communities.
“Everybody including Greenpeace would like to see APP really serious about implementing this this time.
“There is no way back, now or never, this is a serious announcement and APP should prove that this time it’s real.”
APP is a trade name for a group of pulp and paper manufacturing companies in Indonesia and China.
The APP Group of companies is one of the world’s largest vertically integrated pulp and paper companies, with an annual combined pulp, paper, and converting products capacity of over 18 million tons.
APP-Indonesia and APP-China currently market their products in more than 120 countries across six continents.