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Green turn for Indonesian pulp & paper ops

Tuesday, 09 June 2015
By Print 21 Online Article

APP forestry land in Riau Province, Indonesia. (photo: WWF)

Major pulp and paper manufacturers APP and APRIL have announced significant new sustainability initiatives for their often controversial forestry operations in Indonesia.

Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) has won the Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC) certification for over 300,000 hectares of APP suppliers’ plantations, while Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL) has signed a pledge with Greenpeace to put an end to deforestation as part of a new Sustainable Forest Management Plan. Deforestation for pulp and paper, and palm oil, is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia.

APP’s 306,400 hectares of IFCC-PEFC certified plantations are operated by two of its suppliers in Riau province, Indonesia. In addition, more than 1,000,000 hectares of plantation area are in the final stages of IFCC-PEFC certification, with certification expected soon, meaning that APP will be closer to reaching its Sustainability Roadmap Vision 2020 target of 100% of pulpwood suppliers achieving sustainable forest management certification by 2020.

APP’s local partner Paper Force has applauded the move and says it will enable the company to offer Australian customers a greater range of PEFC certified products by the end of 2015. “Consumers increasingly demand sustainable and certified products,” said Larry Jackson, Paper Force MD. “We continue to support APP in achieving its Sustainability Roadmap and applaud the positive steps it has taken to receive this certification. This latest achievement is not only important for APP, but also for the sustainability of Paper Force products and the preservation of natural forests and their inhabitants,” he said.

“This is now the third year of the implementation of our zero deforestation commitment,” said Aida Greenbury, APP MD Sustainability. “This certification means buyers from APP can be assured that not only are APP’s products of high quality but that they are certified, traceable and support sustainable forest management across Indonesia.”

Rival APRIL has agreed to a number of new conservation measures, including using the High Carbon Stock Approach to identify and protect forest areas remaining in their concessions. The company also agreed to protect forested peatlands and has established a Peat Expert Working Group to help it develop international best practice for managing peatlands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

‘APRIL’s policy is huge news for the entire industry,” said Amy Moas, US senior forest campaigner for Greenpeace.  “Along with APP’s zero deforestation commitment in 2013, over 80 percent of the pulp sector in Indonesia is now committed to stopping the destruction of the rainforests. Protecting the forests and peatlands is the way forward for Indonesia and the world, and will bring significant benefits for the climate.”

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