An independent study released Wednesday has confirmed that Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP) has sufficient plantation resources to meet the pulp requirements of its existing mills as well as its future mill in OKI, South Sumatra.
The launch of the company’s Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) in February 2013 saw it commit to producing pulp and paper that is free from fiber or activity linked to deforestation. In order to ensure existing supplier plantations have sufficient capacity to meet this commitment, The Forest Trust (TFT) and Ata Marie were asked to conduct an independent “Growth and Yield” study to assess existing plantation areas.
Scott Poynton, executive director of The Forest Trust, said: “We are pleased to be able to reassure everyone that APP and its suppliers have sufficient resource for the company’s 100 percent plantation target. We have identified one minor gap in 2020 but this can be easily filled by increasing the productivity of the plantation operations between now and then.”
“The FCP is central to our business model and this study proves that the model works — we can continue our operations and expand profitably without having a detrimental impact on forests in Indonesia or anywhere else in the world,” said Aida Greenbury, APP’s managing director of sustainability. “The TFT report forecasts a minor gap in supply in 2020. However it is clear that with a harvesting rotation of around five years, improvements made now can bridge that gap by increasing productivity of supplier plantations through improved yield, better tree stock and reduction of waste. As such, we have been developing an action plan to ensure we have sufficient plantation fiber to meet the pulp requirements of our existing mills as well as our future mill in South Sumatra, in line with our target to become a 100 percent plantation business for pulp production.”
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The methodology and conclusions of the report will be evaluated by Rainforest Alliance as part of the independent FCP evaluation it is currently carrying out.
The announcement comes as APP releases an 18-month update on its implementation of the FCP. Over that period, the company has introduced an effective moratorium on all natural forest clearance while carbon and biodiversity assessments are carried out. The results of all assessments (High Conservation Value [HCV], High Carbon Stock [HCS], peatland, social) are now in the process of being combined into landscape level Integrated Sustainable Forest Management Plans (ISFMPs) in stages.
The report also provides an update on APP’s commitment to support the protection and restoration of one million hectares of forest in Indonesia, announced in April. Since then the company has been engaged in a planning phase of activity with a variety of key stakeholders including NGOs and governments. As part of this, initial mapping has been completed for the ten landscapes selected for conservation activities. The mapping process also identified conservation opportunities, key threats, and stakeholders with land rights in each of the landscapes.
“It has been 18 months since we embarked on our Zero Deforestation journey with the launch of the FCP and although there is much left to do, a lot has been achieved in a short time and we are confident that we are on the right track,” Greenbury added. “When we launched the policy, we were moving into uncharted territory, but since then the ‘Zero Deforestation’ movement has become more and more global. With growing support from businesses, governments and civil society, we are proud to be playing a leading role in helping the world end deforestation.”