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Xerox, Danone Drop Asia Pulp & Paper after Greenpeace Pressure

Danone and Xerox are among a list of companies that have pledged to suspend purchases from Asia Pulp & Paper following a Greenpeace exposé on the paper company’s practices.

Last month, Greenpeace released the results of a year-long investigation into APP, the world’s third largest pulp and paper producer, claiming that the company is systematically violating Indonesia’s laws protecting ramin, an internationally protected tree species. Ramin was found on numerous occasions in the logyards of APP’s Indah Kiat Perawang mill, waiting to be pulped, according to Greenpeace.

A number of major global companies including National Geographic, Barnes & Noble and Walmart were implicated as sourcing products from APP that contained rainforest fiber. Eight of the eleven companies named have now confirmed action to remove APP from their supply chains, Greenpeace says.

Danone has decided to suspend all purchases from APP “wherever possible under law,” until the situation has been clarified and confirmed by independent stakeholders. Danone Group’s direct purchases from APP, which account for 1.5 percent of the group’s total cardboard packaging purchases, will be suspended by the end of June 2012.

Xerox has had a global policy in place since 2002 to not use APP products, but following the Greenpeace investigation it emerged that a division of Xerox Europe had been buying and selling APP products as recently as 2011. Xerox says that this practice has now stopped and has confirmed that none of its subsidiaries will purchase any products from APP.

Collins Debden said that it will no longer source raw materials from APP for its Australian and U.K. operations. Collins Debden is part of the Nippecraft group, which is majority-owned by APP.

Meanwhile Mondi, National Geographic, Parragon and Constable & Robinson have either announced new policies to remove APP or have confirmed further due diligence actions to implement existing policies, Greenpeace said.

Walmart China confirmed that it has stopped selling the product Greenpeace highlighted in its report, but has not agreed to stop stocking all APP products. Barnes & Noble and New Zealand retailer Countdown/Progressive have yet to respond to the report, Greenpeace said.

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5 thoughts on “Xerox, Danone Drop Asia Pulp & Paper after Greenpeace Pressure

  1. This ramin story has only been half told. The mill that supplies APP stated ramin was present when it applied for its licence. It also showed the Greenpeace investigators the ramin logs in its yard. Yes, Ramin is listed under CITES, but it is ridiculous to suggest it’s as endangered as pandas and tigers etc. It’s not actually illegal to trade in ramin from many countries. Greenpeace sending the ramin samples off for testing was a stroke of PR genius, but it was unnecessary. The ramin had been declared from the outset. Companies like Danone should not cite Greenpeace’s report in their statements. Of course, they should conduct their own investigations and take whatever steps they feel right, but feeding the half-told Greenpeace version of events is a mistake. I would have thought they’d have known better. Greenpeace has attacked them in the past with equally one-sided “science” regarding GM crops.

  2. We understand that Danone has issued a public statement to announce the suspension of all purchases from Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP). The decision has been made in the light of recent allegations made by Greenpeace concerning the alleged use of protected tree species at one of our mills in Indonesia.

    APP understands the reasons for this decision. As a company which takes its environmental and social responsibilities very seriously, Danone has a duty to all of its stakeholders to take action whenever there are reports that standards may have been breached.

    APP is also taking this allegation very seriously, and is fully co-operating with the Ministry of Forestry (MoF) of the Government of Indonesia’s investigation which is now underway. It will be the responsibility of the Ministry to announce the findings of the investigation. Until that time, APP won’t be making any more public statements on the matter.

    However, APP would like to reassure all of its stakeholders that it is committed to ensure that its operations, control systems and chain of custody processes are fully in accordance with Indonesian law. It would not be possible for APP to operate in Indonesia without full compliance with existing regulations.

    While it is true to say that significant progress has been made over the past few years in advancing the sustainability of the Indonesian forestry, pulp and paper industry sector, particularly on the vital issue of wood legality, biodiversity and social investment, APP is the first to concede that much work still needs to be done, especially in the areas where NGOs have raised concerns, such as deforestation.

    As the first step, APP has engaged independent experts to conduct multi-stakeholder High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) assessments of its pulpwood concessions under its control.

    HCVF is just the first in what will be a series of sustainability initiatives for APP and we welcome input and participation from all of our key stakeholders: customers, NGOs and governments.

    Ian Lifshitz
    Sustainability Manager, Asia Pulp & Paper

  3. @edhiobekend | April 3rd, 2012
    You state the Greenpeace did not do it’s job properly and that it was a PR stunt. Also Ramin is in no more danger than that of the Panda. I think your clearly missing the point here and also you have failed to actualy see what Greenpeace was actualy saying to the world too. Ramin is part of the Sumatran Tigers habitat. The Sumatran Tiger originates from Asia. therfore thats why it was placed on the Cites annex so it could be protected, therefore protecting the Tiger. Another issue you have failed to spot is that of the Tiger, that is also on the Cites annex. Both species protected, that are in more danger if not the same as the Panda. Greenpeace were also investigating the “illegal logging” trade that did not just include Ramin. The forests are part of the Tigers and Orangutans natural habitat. So I think you need to go over the video again.
    @ APP you quote “As a company which takes its environmental and social responsibilities very seriously,” if you took these matters on a serious note then why have you been found time and time again to be breaching terms and conditions. Your the main reason why this earth is heating up. You can not and must not get away with the crimes in which you have done. Mr Ian Lifshitz we are currently lobbying the governments and also other NGOs to now have you taken to court for violations of human rights act, violations of the cites annex orders too. We are also commencing a full boycott of all your products.

  4. Xerox s policy is not to use App product, that is not true as one of their divisions in South AFrica, Nor Paper who supply paper to the SA printing industry buys and sells up to 500 tons a month into the South African market. 500 tons is a lot of rainforest. Xerox needs to understand their commitment to the environment and act on their so called policy. WE need greenpeace to make this public knowledge.

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