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Greenpeace Says Wal-Mart, KFC, Others Destroying the Rainforest

Greenpeace claims that Wal-mart, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and other major brands are contributing to the destruction of the rainforest and extinction of Sumatran tigers and orangutans by using paper products from Indonesia, reports Irish Times. The environmental group is calling on these big brands to stop doing business with the paper and pulp division of Sinar Mas.

The Greenpeace report, “How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet” (PDF), shows how major brands are destroying Indonesia’s rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands by using or selling paper products from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), part of the Sinar Mas group.

The report finds that APP uses the logs from two rainforest areas — Bukit Tigapuluh and Kerumutan — for its Sumatra-based pulp mills, which export paper products worldwide.

Several leading companies have already responded to Greenpeace evidence of the Sinar Mas conglomerate’s “illegal” environmental and deforestation practices in Indonesia and are canceling their contracts with the Indonesian palm oil and paper giant.

Carrefour says it has already stopped buying from APP for its own brands and Tesco will follow suit by the end of the year, while Kraft will phase out APP paper and packaging, reports Irish Times.

Kimberly Clark, Kraft, Nestlé and Unilever are in the process of implementing global sustainability policies for pulp and paper, which will exclude paper products from APP unless it makes substantial improvements to the sustainability of its fiber supplies, according to the report. Kimberly Clark says it has never sourced pulp from APP.

Unilever, Kraft and Nestlé also have canceled contracts with the Sinar Mas group’s palm oil division, also due to Greenpeace’s urging.

Greenpeace also reports that Staples, Office Depot, Woolworths (Australia), Franklin Covey, Fuji Xerox, Ricoh, Target, Unisource, H&M and Gucci have all decided to stop buying from APP, while PaperlinX, WHSmith, Corporate Express and Hewlett Packard are sourcing from APP in some regions.

Indonesia accounts for about one quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation, reports Irish Times. A study released last year shows that Indonesia is one of the biggest emitters due to peatland degradation.

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6 thoughts on “Greenpeace Says Wal-Mart, KFC, Others Destroying the Rainforest

  1. The OVERUSE of packaging is a BIG part of the problem….first we deforest, then we spend time, money and increase carbon pollution with transportation costs, manufacturing (more pollution)…go spend some time near a paper mill and SMELL the NOT clean air….then we create something that is NOT recycled…but used ONCE and then added to the landfill or dumped offshore……WAKE UP!! Out of site environmental abuse, NOT seeing or smelling the residue from a paper mill, or KNOWING the impact on our PLANET is a HUGE ISSUE….smart, educated people MUST educate those who are either too ignorant or financially greedy to care…..The planet is hemmoraging from the oil spill, we are deforesting CRUTIAL forests….PLEASE HELP STOP THE ENVIRONMENTAL INSANITY.

  2. Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) is aware of the recently released Greenpeace report regarding the Indonesian forestry industry. The claims made against Indonesian policy and APP in this report are unequivocally inaccurate and deliberately misleading. We are disappointed that Greenpeace continues to publish misleading reports containing false claims and we would like to set the record straight.

    To address some of the immediate issues:

    • Greenpeace’s claim of a ‘secret’ plan by APP to increase – by up to 7 times – its current pulping capacity is completely false and illogical. To meet Greenpeace’s claim, it would take roughly 8 million hectares of gross pulpwood concession area, significantly more than the 5.7 million hectares currently allocated for pulpwood plantations in Indonesia.

    • Greenpeace accuses APP of compromising the habitat of endangered animals such as the Sumatran Tiger. On the contrary, APP has set aside 106,000 hectares of production forest to serve as the core of the Senepis Sumatran Tiger Sanctuary, a pioneering initiative that is a vital contribution to the survival of the species.

    • By creating this report, Greenpeace undermines the government’s efforts toward sustainable development. Greenpeace attacks the very industries that provide the communities with better prospects – as opposed to unsustainable agricultural practices, illegal forest encroachment and illegal logging or poaching, which leads to forest destruction, only giving people a short-term fix to escape the miseries of poverty.

    As part of its commitment to transparency, APP opens its doors to credible and responsible NGOs and independent auditors to trace the chain-of-custody of its products, enabling them to better understand the sustainability aspects of its raw materials and to work with the company to enhance its sustainable practices. We regret that Greenpeace published this report without contacting us first. We would ask that instead of investing their resources to work against us, they come and examine our operations and work with us to seek new solutions that balance the complex and interconnected needs of the developing world.

    Ian Lifshtz
    Sustainability & Public Outreach Manager
    Asia Pulp & Paper

  3. The post by APP is interesting. Translating the numbers into sq km, 5.7m hectares is about 57,000 sq kilometres – that’s a lot of land. 100,000 hectares is 1000 sq kilometers or a block 33km by 33km – that is not a lot. I wonder how much land a Sumatran tiger needs. By the way, there is no such thing as “production forest” – just forest. Furthermore, the suggestion that foresty is a large-scale employer of people is unsustained. Likewise, legal logging is OK (one has a permit) illegal is not (no permit) it is still logging and apart from the “peat problem” is the major cause of Indonesia’s high GHG emissions. Boycotting Indonesian products does not provide a total answer, since China is one of the major user of Indonesian forest products. But every little bit helps.

    Last comment, why on earth would Greenpeace wish to contact a company prior to publishing a report critical of the company’s practises? Some rather simplistic thinking going on here.

  4. Asia Pulp and Paper has been used as a training example in many Equator Principles training sessions for project finance teams in the banking sector, as an example of how not to deal with environmental and community issues in operational activities, so no surprise that they continue to contribute to the destruction of the rain forests in Asia.

  5. For anyone on this story’s thread to come up with an argument that supports destruction of these rainforests is completely irresponsible. I don’t care what argument you come up with. It’s wrong. We should NOT be deforesting in these places, period. Once gone, you CAN’T get them back. They are too diverse to replace.

    The point that is missed by many is that we HAVE to transition to a sustainable-, ethical-, and conservation-oriented global economy in order for future generations and commerce to be protected. If we continue down a path of extraction and destruction that pays no attention to the true cost of what is produced, we exhaust the finite resources and leave ourselves nothing for the future.

    It is also our stewardship, as keepers of the planet, to not take from that which we cannot replace — as much as possible. To find ways to mimic nature in a sense, which doesn’t upset the balance of its habitat by existing there. This means a change in thinking. A change in doing. A change in practices, expectations, understanding.

    Greenpeace is one of the only organizations who has the weight to confront these companies and get them to change. The general public is too busy consuming to pay attention — the sorry reality.

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