APP focuses on third-party forest clearance in move towards zero deforestation target

17 March 2015

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) will focus on third-party forest clearance as part of a raft of measures this year to move towards its target of zero deforestation in the supply chain.

The carton board and packaging business said its Forest Conservation Policy Implementation Plan (FCP) for 2015 onwards would prioritise issues including dealing with forest encroachment and illegal logging by third-parties, peatland best management practices, social conflict resolution, wildfire prevention and management, workers’ rights and sustainable wood supply.

APP’s priorities have been informed by the Rainforest Alliance’s evaluation of its FCP since it was established in February 2013. The Alliance said that APP had made “moderate progress” towards meeting its commitments.

Aida Greenbury, APP’s managing director, sustainability, said the company was pleased the Rainforest Alliance had recognised its progress, and that its report had highlighted the areas needing more focus.

“We also believe that an evaluation like this puts a global spotlight on the issues currently at play in Indonesia’s forests,” said Greenbury. “Since 2013, we have been calling for other stakeholders to support us with our zero deforestation policy because forest continues to be lost due to factors that, despite our efforts, we cannot completely control, such as encroachment, forest fires and illegal activities. Our hope is that this evaluation will raise awareness of forestry issues in Indonesia and prompt others, including government, NGOs and the private sector to collaborate more closely to help tackle the issues across the landscape.”

In April last year, APP announced plans to “restore and support the conservation” of one million hectares of rainforest across Indonesia.

Richard Donovan, Rainforest Alliance senior vice president of forestry, said: “Key steps have been taken, such as halting the clearance of natural forest by its suppliers. As with any major change initiative there remains work to be done to put the policies and procedures that have been developed into action in the field. Rainforest Alliance encourages APP to continue on the path set out in the FCP.”

Elements of the plan will be subject to further consultation over the coming months and years.

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