Global environmental organisation WWF is urging Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) — the largest paper company in Indonesia and one of the largest in the world — to agree to a list of performance targets in order to improve its current status as one of the world’s most notorious deforesters and back up its commitment to become an environmentally and socially responsible company, the NGO announced today.
The performance targets, released by the European and North American Environmental Paper Network today, provide guidance for the assessment of APP’s implementation of its 2020 Sustainability Roadmap and Forest Conservation Policy (FCP).
Environmental Paper Network members include many of the civil society organisations that have been active in opposing APP’s thirty-year history of large-scale deforestation, including international NGOs Greenpeace, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and WWF, and Indonesian NGOs Wahana Bumi Hijau and Walhi.
“We cautiously welcomed APP’s earlier announcement that it would cease new deforestation in Indonesia. The performance targets and milestones published address the sad legacy of APP’s operations over the last three decades, which left little natural forest to pulp in APP’s main base of operations in Sumatra,” said Nazir Foead, Conservation Director for WWF-Indonesia.
“Fulfilling these performance milestones is the quickest way for APP to prove its commitment and end its long streak of broken promises to sustainability,” said Rod Taylor, Forest Director for WWF International.
The milestone document released today emphasizes the NGOs' calls to have the company acknowledge, restore and compensate for the enormous environmental and social damage it has caused; become a solely plantation-based supplier and cease supply of mixed tropical hardwood to any of its mills by January 1, 2014; and accept independent, third-party evaluation of the implementation of its new policies.
WWF and its many local NGO partners will continue to scrutinize APP’s actions and report on the company’s performance against the targets and milestones released today.
Until that performance has been proven, WWF advises companies to adopt a wait-and see-attitude and join WWF in adopting the milestone document to assess the company’s performance.
APP is no stranger to challenges from the private and public sectors alike. In February, APP announced it would immediately end the clearing of natural forest across its entire Indonesian supply chain after losing nearly 100 international corporate customers and shortly afterward issued an update to its “Vision 2020” plan, which provided further insight into its new forest conservation policy, as a show of good faith. But in April, the WWF alleged that the company had already violated its new zero-deforestation policy. In response to the controversy, Greenpeace came to APP’s defense, citing a Forest Trust investigation that concluded the company had not been involved in forest clearance.
However, rather than respond to scrutiny with increased transparency as APP has, its competitor, APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International Limited), this summer withdrew from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which Greenpeace, the RAN and the WWF saw as an attempt to dodge an independent inquiry into the paper company’s deforestation practices in Indonesia.