A new report from a coalition of non-profit organizations shows that global paper giants Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) are violating their zero-deforestation policy.
In addition, a few days ago the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) announced that it has decided to suspend the process to design a roadmap for ending disassociation with Asia Pulp & Paper. A new Associated Press news story detailing the FSC announcement and the above-mentioned violations and related report can be viewed here.
APP and APRIL became the world’s most notorious pulp and paper companies after years of forest destruction and links to human rights abuses. Between 2013 and 2015 both companies committed to stop deforestation and respect human rights and they announced new conservation commitments.
However, APP and APRIL’s purchases of wood from companies that are committing deforestation raise fundamental questions about the integrity of both groups’ zero deforestation commitments and the spirit of reform they have promoted. In recent years, both APP and APRIL have made large capital investments in pulp production and downstream processing, while offering unproven assurances that they have adequate supplies of plantation-grown wood fiber to support their raw material needs. The fact that APP and APRIL are sourcing wood from new suppliers engaged in deforestation indicates that such assurances were not based on rigorous analysis and accurate projections. More broadly, it appears to signal that each group has begun to default on its zero deforestation commitment as it seeks new sources of wood. Read the report here.
The Environmental Paper Network website provides free resources for understanding your paper supply chain and managing social and environmental risk. Background information on the deforestation crisis in Indonesia and paper company profiles are available here and a database tool for identifying subsidiaries and affiliates of APP (Sinar Mas) and APRIL (RGE) is available here.