June 13, 2012  
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Asia Pulp & Paper charts a course to world-class industry standards in sustainable business

(Editor's Note: The following is an APP press release dated June 5, 2012.)

Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) has published its Sustainability Roadmap for 2020 and beyond, a period in which it aims to put conserving Indonesia's natural resources at the heart of its business strategy.

The publication of APP's Roadmap follows just two weeks after the Group committed itself to the internationally-accepted principles of High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF), and suspending natural forest clearance on its own plantations. Current independent suppliers will have until the end of 2014 to comply with APP's new HCVF rules.

The Sustainability Roadmap and milestones extend APP's commitments to improving environmental performance, biodiversity conservation and protection of community rights. Highlights of the Roadmap are:

  • By 2015, APP will have the capacity to be wholly reliant on raw materials from plantations.
  • By 2015, all current APP suppliers will operate by the standards of High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF), providing the most robust protection for biodiversity, rare ecosystems and local community rights.
  • By 2020, all current APP suppliers will have credible certification for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) - matching global best practice in this field.
  • As part of its SFM commitments, APP will also introduce carbon measurement and evaluation for its plantations--above and below ground. It will put the company at the forefront of the global pulp & paper industry's contribution to tackling climate change, in support of the President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's pledge to reduce Indonesia's greenhouse gas emissions by 26 per cent by the end this decade.

A cornerstone of the Sustainability Roadmap is the Responsible Procurement and Processing Policy for which the recent operation-wide High Conservation Value Assessment (HCVF) is among the most critical components. These independent audits, led by APCS Chairman and Team Leader Loy Jones, will begin first with APP owned supplier concessions and then extend to independent pulpwood suppliers.

Loy Jones, lead HCVF assessor, said: "We are pleased with APP's commitment and willingness to undergo this level of operational evaluation and scrutiny. This represents a critical first step in a long-term journey toward meeting the HCV Management commitment which is not easily undertaken. We are optimistic that many stakeholders will welcome this commitment, and hopeful that all, including those taking a more cautious "wait and see" position, will participate in this process so there are positive results for APP, along with the forests and people of Indonesia."

The launch of APP's Roadmap has been welcomed by leading stakeholders in Indonesia. Mr Gita Wirjawan, Indonesia's Minister for Trade, said: "APP's Roadmap reflects upon a paradigm of the way that Indonesian companies are shaping up for the challenges and opportunities of the next decade. The strategy is about how to become a global industry leader, and doing so in a sustainable way. This will be achieved through innovation, investment and internal transformation. APP's Sustainability Roadmap will provide a blueprint for the Group, as it seeks to become the number one pulp and paper company in the world before 2020."

Darori, Director General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation at the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, commented on APP's plans to continue using a maximum of five per cent legally sourced wood waste and residues: "The Government of Indonesia requires pulp and paper companies like APP to use wood and waste residues from the plantation development in degraded and logged-over forests in the supply chain, because it is the most environmentally and economically sensible strategy. It is important that the global community understands this is not 'natural forest clearing'. It is about using wood and waste residue material in the most efficient way, rather than having it burned or left to degrade and emit more carbon. Such a strategy is entirely consistent with APP's desire to become a global leader on climate change."

Robin Mailoa, CEO of Sinarmas Forestry, said: "We are pleased to have been working with the Government of Indonesia to develop the pulpwood plantation industry according to the national strategy. Today we are proud to adopt global standards in the protection of HCVF and to be more holistic in our management of our concessions in an economically viable way that focuses both on the environment as well as the community."

Ms. Aida Greenbury, APP's Managing Director of Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement, said: "Some of the most noteworthy sections of the roadmap are those which define how APP plans to embed the principles of sustainability into our operations. We are projecting our annual operational and financial commitment to conducting these assessments and implementing these policies to be quite significant. Additionally we have a whole new set of policies on Corporate Governance and Oversight which should satisfy anyone who doubts whether APP is really serious about our commitment.

"Managing conservation values in our natural forests and our operations as a whole is not an empty promise, but it will require an enormous amount of planning and work on the ground to make it happen. We welcome the participation of important stakeholders who can help accelerate the pace of change. Ultimately, we believe APP can be a positive force on the environment including climate change, and that's the direction the Roadmap is taking us."

For more information contact Naomi Bata at: [email protected].


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