Akey buzzword in the print and the packaging industry right now is sustainability. Every stakeholder - print service providers, print equipment manufactures. as well as raw material manufacturers like paper producers - wants to provide products that are manufactured in a more environmentally friendly, sustainable way. Some companies have even launched programmes that focus on reducing carbon footprints.
One of these companies is APRIL Group, a large producer of fibre, pulp and paper with plantations and manufacturing operations in Sumatra, Indonesia. In November 2020, the company launched its long term APRIL2030 strategy, which it has described as its commitment to deliver ‘a positive impact on a climate, nature and people’, while growing its business in a sustainable manner.
The company’s APRIL2030 strategy is made up of four commitment areas - climate positive, thriving landscape, inclusive progress and sustainable growth - with 18 targets. “These targets are ambitious. We plan to drastically reduce carbon emissions to achieve netzero emissions from land use and a 25% cut in product carbon emissions by 2030,” says Praveen Singhavi, p r e s ident , APRIL Group.
Sustainable development goals (SDGs)
Since 2017, APRIL Group has been working with PwC Singapore in Indonesia to assess the impact of its business activities using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework. Seven priority SDGs were identified.
These are comprised of four core goals with direct alignment with APRIL’s operations - SDGs 12 (responsible production and consumption), 13 (climate action), 15 (life on land) and 17 (partnerships for goals). They also include three catalytic goals - SDGs 3 (good health and wellbeing), 4 (quality education) and 6 (clean water and sanitation) - where the company believes it can also make a positive impact.
The APRIL2030 strategy supports the achievement of the SDGs at the national level in Indonesia and more importantly, at the village level in the province of Riau. Singhavi informs, “The alignment of our targets against the relevant SDG targets can be seen on our APRIL 2030 microsite. No company’s sustainability vision can be enduring if communities are left behind”.
Praveen Singhavi, president, April Group
Achieving the APRIL 2030 commitments
A major target within the APRIL2030 strategy is to achieve a 50% increase in fibre productivity through investments in silviculture and peatland science. This, Singhavi says, will be supported through increased investments in nature. “In turn, these will be funded by $1 USD per tonne of plantation fibre harvested per year. We are also installing 20MW solar panels at our operational sites.
When completed in 2025, this will be one of the largest private-sector solar panel installations in Indonesia.”
There are other tangible initiatives, which are underway, to drive the APRIL2030 strategy. These include the peatland science hub that has been set up at the RER EcoResearch Camp on the Kampar Peninsula in Sumatra. Last year, the company also signed up with the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi) to set science-based emission reduction targets aligned with the SBTi’s criteria. Singhavi says, “These initiatives build on our existing sustainability commitments. We have a particular focus on increasing our adoption of renewable energy and more efficiently managing our water and waste”.
Other initiatives abound. To find alternative cellulose or plant-based feedstock and closed-loop manufacturing, Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), of which APRIL Group is a part, has announced plans to invest US$200 million over 10 years into cellulosic textile fibre R&D.
APRIL is also researching the exchange of greenhouse gases in peatland landscapes on the Kampar Peninsula, in Sumatra, Indonesia, where are its operations are located. Singhavi says, “This involves measuring the net ecosystem-atmospheric exchange of carbon dioxide and methane. The data is collected using instruments placed on four 50 metrehigh flux towers, which are located in different areas of our concessions.”
Sustainability - onus on manufacturers
With the increasing global move towards the adoption of sustainable business practices, Singhavi says, APRIL Group fully understands the importance of continuing to integrate sustainability into our operations. APRIL’s Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP 2.0) is the foundation of its approach to sustainability.
“Our mill has been running on 100% plantation fibre since December 2015, and there has been no new plantation development and no deforestation in our concessions. There has been a limited loss to fire, even during the worst fire season Indonesia experienced in 2015. We also continue to actively protect almost 365,000 hectares of conservation and restoration forest areas. KPMG PRI Canada verifies the implementation of our commitments every year,” says Singhavi