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APP puts Indonesia forest conservation top of agenda

With its newly announced Sustainability Roadmap for 2020 and beyond, Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) aims to “put conserving Indonesia’s natural resources at the heart of its business strategy”.

In May this year APP – a brand umbrella for paper products produced by several mills in Indonesia – committed itself to the internationally-accepted High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) principles, and suspended 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.

Loy Jones, lead HCVF assessor, said: “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.”

Main points in the APP ‘roadmap’ include: the capacity to be wholly reliant on raw materials from plantations by 2015; all current APP suppliers will operate by the HCVF standards by 2015; all current APP suppliers to have credible certification for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) by 2020, matching global best practice; APP to introduce carbon measurement and evaluation for its plantations above and below ground, as part of its SFM commitments.

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.

“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. Ultimately, we believe APP can be a positive force on the environment including climate change.”

Indonesian companies in the APP group include: PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk, PT Pindo Deli Pulp & Paper Mills, PT PabrikKertas Tjiwi Kimia Tbk, PT Lontar Papyrus Pulp & Paper Industries, and PT Ekamas Fortuna.