Asia Pacific Resources International has revealed plans for a sustainable forest management policy less than two weeks after the Indonesian pulp and paper giant was threatened with expulsion from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
The sustainable forest management policy reiterates the pulp and paper producer’s previously shared plans to stop clearing forests for new plantations by December 2014. In this latest announcement, April also pledges to double the size of its forest restoration program to 40,000 hectares and stop clearing forests in areas where no independent conservation assessments had been completed.
April says it will only use plantation fiber by the end of 2019; and will not establish a new pulp mill or pulp line until it achieves plantation fiber self-sufficiency for its long-term sustainability.
WWF cautiously welcomed the plan and said the company’s sustainable forest management policy seems to demonstrate a willingness to transform its operations.
Greenpeace responded to April’s with criticism, calling the company’s pledge an orchestrated announcement that gives it license to continue forest clearance in the near term. Greenpeace called for April to place an immediate moratorium on all forest clearance and peatland development.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a global group of 200 large companies committed to sustainable practices, put April’s membership on probation for a year because of reports of its deforestation, the Wall Street Journal reports.
After a successful campaign to force Asia Pulp and Paper Group to stop clearing natural forests across its supply chains in Indonesia, Greenpeace turned its attention to APRIL, APP’s leading competitor in the region.
APP, a unit of Sinar Mas Group, said in its new Forest Conservation Policy that it suspended all forest clearing as of Feb. 1, 2013. Under the policy, brokered by global forestry non-profit the Forest Trust, APP changed the way it supplies its mills with fiber and ended its role in deforesting Indonesia’s remaining rainforests.