APP marks fifth anniversary of its forest conservation policy

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) marked the five anniversary of its landmark sustainability commitment, the Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), at its headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia on 25 March 2018. Under the policy, which was developed with the assistance of NGOs and other partners, APP committed itself to achieving deforestation-free supply chain, and to advance towards becoming a more sustainable business. At an event for stakeholders, APP reviewed the progress it has made since 2013, identified ch

30 May 2018 | By PrintWeek India

The FCP comprises four commitments; to protect natural forests, to better manage peatlands, to partner with local communities, and to implement a sustainable supply chain. Since the FCP was established in February 2013, APP has made substantial progress on many of these commitments.

These include ending natural forest conversion by its pulpwood suppliers, and transitioning to sourcing 100% plantation fibre for its production and ensuring that its supply chain continues to be free from deforestation, robust systems have been implemented and compliances are third-party verified.

APP has also engaged local communities, working collaboratively to improve livelihoods and to transfer knowledge to the villagers on modern, more sustainable, farming techniques. As a result of these programmes, the incidence of third-party deforestation, as well as forest and land fires have been significantly reduced in 2017.

“APP today is a very different company since it embarked upon its Forest Conservation Policy journey five years ago. The progress we have made would not have been possible without the support of our technical partners, customers, the Government of Indonesia, and also the NGOs who have both criticised us and encouraged us in equal measure,” said Goh Lin Piao, managing director, APP, “While we are proud of what we have achieved together in this time, we also recognise that there is still more work to be done in areas such as land disputes, illegal encroachment, and perhaps most importantly, the issue of rural poverty.”

In the five years since implementing the FCP, APP has invested about USD 300 million in forest monitoring systems, landscape restoration, fire prevention and peatland research and community engagement, among others. The company also invested in identifying areas of High Conservation Value and High Carbon Stock, and detailed maps of peatlands, in and around its supplier concessions. This information has been vital in helping APP identify critical landscapes that need to be preserved and protected.

Commenting on the FCP progress, APP’s director of sustainability and stakeholder engagement, Elim Sritaba, said: “Working alongside our partners like The Forest Trust and Deltares, APP has been able to increase its conservation area to over 20% of its supplier’s concession areas, protecting a total of more than 600,000 ha of valuable natural forest. We were also able to identify and retire 7,000 ha of plantation on peatland in order to start better protecting vulnerable forest and peat.”

“The Forest Conservation Policy is an ambitious undertaking, but we are making progress. And as we accomplish some of our objectives under the FCP, we are already looking forward and expect to announce a new set of sustainability goals in our Vision 2030 roadmap,” she added.