Asia Pulp and Paper Group, one of the largest paper producers in the world, announced it would stop clearing natural forests across its supply chains in Indonesia, accelerating a pledge to use only trees from plantations by 2015.
APP, a unit of Sinar Mas Group, said in its new Forest Conservation Policy that it suspended all forest clearing as of February 1.
Greenpeace applauded APP’s new commitment as a breakthrough in efforts to save Indonesian rainforests. “If APP fully implements its new policies it will mark a dramatic change in direction, after years of deforestation in Indonesia,” said Bustar Maitar, head of Greenpeace’s forest campaign in Indonesia.
Under the policy, brokered by global forestry non-profit the Forest Trust, APP will change the way it supplies its mills with fiber, ending its role in deforesting Indonesia’s remaining rainforests.
Under the supervision of TFT, APP and its suppliers will only develop non-forested areas identified through independent High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests assessments.
APP has pledged to protect forested peatland and use best practice management to reduce and avoid greenhouse gas emissions within the peatland landscape in an effort to support the Indonesian government’s low emissions development goal. The Jakarta-based company also said it will avoid and resolve social conflicts across its supply chain as well as respect the rights of indigenous people and local communities where new plantations are proposed.
Last June, APP suspended natural forest clearance on its own pulpwood plantations in Indonesia as part of a new commitment to international standards on HCVF.
APP’s announcement today follows a campaign by Greenpeace, which pressured the pulp and paper producer — as well as the companies that used its products — to end the practice of clearing natural forests.
A host of companies including Danone and Xerox pledged last April to suspend purchases from APP following a Greenpeace exposé on the paper company’s practices. The report, the result of a year-long investigation into APP, alleged the company systematically violates 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.
Other companies dropping APP paper and its derived products included Disney, KFC, Kmart, Kroger, BI-LO, Harris Teeter, Supervalu, Weis Markets, Brookshire Grocery Company and Delhaize Group. Adidas, Kraft, Mattel, Hasbro, Nestlé, Carrefour, Staples and Unilever took similar actions, Greenpeace says.